Executive Order on “Religious Freedom” Garners Response From Ky Advocacy Groups

May 4, 2017

Credit ELENA ELISSEEVA/123RF STOCK PHOTO

 President Donald Trump signed an executive order to “promote free speech and religious liberties” Thursday that has garnered opposing responses from two Kentucky advocacy groups.

Lexington-based conservative group The Family Foundation said the order was “disappointing.” Executive Director Kent Ostrander said they would have liked provisions for religious groups protected from actions against LGBT people. Ostrander said he believes religious rights and the rights of LGBT people aren’t mutually exclusive and says religious groups are being treated unfairly.  

“People of faith can be sent to jail or sued because they don’t want to participate in a religious ceremony that violates their religious convictions,” Ostrander said.

 

But left-leaning advocacy group The Kentucky Fairness Campaign said they are relieved the order doesn’t target LGBT people as early revisions had indicated. Director Chris Hartman said he believes Trump will no longer pursue anti-LGBT laws.

“It’s interesting that we’ve had two false alarms now and both times, especially today, Trump was sending the message that this doesn’t seem to be on his agenda.” Hartman said.

 

The order relaxes restrictions on political activity by religious groups and overrides an Affordable Care Act mandate that  employer-provided health care plans must include reproductive health services.