(EDGE) Fasten your seatbelts, it's gonna be a bumpy resistance.
On Friday, President Trump made good on his promise to the evangelical base that helped him get elected by allowing a license to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of "religious liberty." The order, which came in a sweeping directive to agencies from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, effectively lifts a burden from religious objectors to prove that their beliefs about marriage or other topics are sincerely held.
According to AP, under the new policy, a claim of a violation of religious freedom would be enough to override concerns for the civil rights of LGBT people and anti-discrimination protections for women and others. The guidelines are so sweeping that experts on religious liberty are calling them a legal powder-keg that could prompt wide-ranging lawsuits against the government.
But is this law limited to the well-publicized florist, photographer, baker or county clerk who wants to use "Jesus" to get out of doing their jobs? How far can businesses and individuals carry this new policy to legally discriminate against their fellow LGBT Americans.
HRC conducted a preliminary analysis of the Trump-Pence administration's license to discriminate and the picture isn't very pretty. Below are just a few ways in which LGBT people and women will be at risk under the new policy.
* A Social Security Administration employee could refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse
* A federal contractor could refuse to provide services to LGBT people, including in emergencies, without risk of losing federal contracts
* Organizations that had previously been prohibited from requiring all of their employees from following the tenets of the organization's faith could now possibly discriminate against LGBT people in the provision of benefits and overall employment status
* Agencies receiving federal funding, and even their individual staff members, could refuse to provide services to LGBT children in crisis, or to place adoptive or foster children with a same-sex couple or transgender couple simply because of who they are