2016 hopeful reiterates support for the First Amendment Defense Act

 

(WB) Donald Trump has fortified the anti-LGBT positions he's expressed over the course of his campaign by tapping as an adviser former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, a two-time presidential candidate with a notoriously anti-LGBT record.

The actions are the result of Trump's creation of a 35-member Catholic Advisory Council, which includes, in addition to Santorum, other individuals with anti-LGBT records.

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Accompanying the creation of the council is a new statement from Trump outlining "Issues of Importance to Catholics" and reiterating his support for the First Amendment Defense Act, a federal "religious freedom" bill seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination.

Emphasizing his commitment to "religious liberty," Trump hints at opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage and President Obama's executive order barring anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors.

"Religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution," Trump said. "It is our first liberty and provides the most important protection in that it protects our right of conscience. Activist judges and executive orders issued by presidents who have no regard for the Constitution have put these protections in jeopardy. If I am elected president and Congress passes the First Amendment Defense Act, I will sign it to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths."

Trump doesn't identify which executive orders he thinks are "issued by presidents who have no regard for the Constitution," but from the context of the paragraph, he implies a reference Obama's LGBT executive order because the initial version of the First Amendment Defense Act would have undermined that directive. (The most recent version of the bill has language that wouldn't affect federal for-profit contracting.) Trump has said he would repeal executive orders he deems unconstitutional, which could include Obama's LGBT directive.


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