US: DOJ’s anti-LGBTQ “religious exemptions” guidance makes LGBTQ employees second-class citizens

Guidance could force LGBTQ federal workers back in closet to protect their own job security

Trump Administration’s sweeping guidance could have additional consequences to safety of LGBTQ Americans


GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today condemned guidance issued this morning by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which invites taxpayer funded federal agencies, government employees, and government contractors to legally discriminate as long as they cite a religious belief as the reason for doing it. This guidance follows the anti-LGBTQ executive order signed by President Trump – which could ultimately allow a person to use so-called “religious exemptions” to discriminate against the LGBTQ community at the workplace, in housing, in public accommodations across the nation, and even in marriage equality. Today’s guidance bears a striking resemblance to some of Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA), an anti-LGBTQ measure Mike Pence signed into law when he was Indiana’s governor in 2015.

RFRA was backed by local anti-LGBTQ groups and had the sole intent to give Hoosiers permission to discriminate LGBTQ people at work, in housing access, and in other areas of public accommodation, including hospitals, across Indiana. Now, multiplereports indicate that Mike Pence has become the chief architect for this and other social issues within this administration, including its anti-LGBTQ agenda that has harmed the community since Day One of the Trump Presidency.

"Today’s guidance by Jeff Sessions proves this Administration will do anything possible to categorize LGBTQ Americans as second-class citizens who are not equal under the law,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Freedom of religion is paramount to our nation’s success but does not give people the right to impose their beliefs on others, to harm others, or to discriminate. Nothing could be more un-American and unholy than using religion to justify harm and discrimination to others.” Read more via GLAAD