Donald Trump signs executive order promoting free speech and religious liberty

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures to the media after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas left the White House in Washington U.S. May 3

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures to the media after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas left the White House in Washington U.S. May 3

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said that the religious liberty order is the start of a process in reversing the "devastating trend set by the last administration to punish charities, pastors, family owned businesses and honest, hard-working people simply for living according to their faith".

Some faith leaders have condemned Trump's order, saying it would politicize their congregations.

US President Donald Trump's executive order on religious liberty reflects his commitment to protecting religious freedom of all Americans, a prominent member of the Sikh American community in the US has said.

He has long promised the conservative Christian supporters who helped him win the White House that he would block the regulation, known as the Johnson Amendment, though any repeal would have to be done by Congress. For example, on Wednesday, the ACLU tweeted, "And if President Trump signs an order that will allow religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate, we will sue".

Ralph Reed, a longtime evangelical leader and founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, said he was briefed by White House officials about the text of the executive order. It allows churches and other religious and charitable organizations to carry out political action without worrying about losing their tax-exempt status.

The intent of the president's order is to weaken enforcement of the so-called Johnson Amendment, a 1954 law that restricts all tax-exempt institutions from campaigning for - or against - political candidates.

Today's executive order undermines the First Amendment principles and protections that allow religious life to flourish in the United States.

"President Trump's prior assertion that he wished to "totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment with this order has proven to be a textbook case of 'fake news, '" Romero said.

Trump signed an executive order today giving tax-exempt religious groups more freedom to voice their political opinions, as well as relaxing the mandate that companies provide free contraception to female employees under ObamaCare.

Trump's executive order, officially called "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty", is not a national extension of the 2015 IN law.

But the head of Log Cabin Republicans, a group that represents gay conservatives, said the idea that the executive order harms gay Americans is "total nonsense".

NARAL Pro-Choice America agreed that the executive order will begin rolling back the ACA's contraceptive coverage policy. "We'd certainly like to keep the rights that we presently have, or at least the rights that we did have up until recently when we were challenged", says The Catholic League's Bill Donahue.

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