ACLU files legal bid to get a copy of ‘secret’ Trump anti-LGBT order

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a legal demand with the Trump administration to obtain a copy of a draft religious freedom order to permit anti-LGBT discrimination.

A draft executive order leaked from inside the White House last month that would actively permit religious discrimination against LGBT people.

The leaked order would protect people who discriminate based on “the belief that marriage is or should be recognised as the union of one man and one woman [or that] male and female refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy at birth”.

After the document leaked and sparked immediate protests, White House officials insisted the order had been spiked – but insiders say it is still secretly being worked on, and is being re-drafted to make it less vulnerable to a legal challenge.

After Trump’s former policy chief appeared to confirm the document was still being worked on inside the administration, today the American Civil Liberties Union filed a legal challenge under freedom of information rules demanding it be made public.

The Freedom of Information requests were filed with the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Justice, and Treasury and seek any communications regarding the drafting of the order, which would attempt to grant broad religious exemptions to organizations from rules barring discrimination

Louise Melling, deputy legal director for the ACLU, said: “The American people deserve to know whether this administration plans to protect the rights of all Americans or whether it will sanction discrimination.

“The ACLU fights every day to defend religious freedom, but religious freedom does not mean the right to discriminate against or harm others. If President Trump signs an executive order that authorizes discrimination against women and LGBT people, we will see him in court.”