ACLU files FOI versus anti-LGBT executive order
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request from federal agencies with regard to a possible anti-LGBT executive order.
The FOI is one of many the group has filed with the Trump administration requesting details on discriminatory practices and measures being implemented in order to fight them.
ACLU takes on anti-LGBT EO
The ACLU is requesting from four federal agencies– the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Justice, and Treasury– documents about a possible EO that would go allow religiously-motivated discrimination against the LGBT.
The same EO would also target members of the minority faiths, women, and those seeking reproductive health care.
“The American people deserve to know whether this administration plans to protect the rights of all Americans or whether it will sanction discrimination,” said Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director.
“The ACLU fights every day to defend religious freedom, but religious freedom does not mean the right to discriminate against or harm others,” Melling said.
“If President Trump signs an executive order that authorizes discrimination against women and LGBT people, we will see him in court,” she added.
Through the use of FOI requests, the ACLU can seek any communications with regard to the creation of the said EO. A draft had leaked out last February.
The EO would allow broad exemptions in current non-discriminating protections under the Affordable Care Act and allow federally-funded child welfare organizations to make religious directive-based decisions for children.
It would also allow discrimination by federal employees and contractors against same-sex couples, transgender people, and women seeking reproductive health care.
After the draft had been leaked, White House officials said the order had been spiked though insiders claim this is still being considered.
ACLU vs Trump administration
Before Donald Trump took office as the 45th US president, the ACLU had filed a huge number of FOI requests for documents with regard to his businesses and conflicts of interest.
The group sent their request to the Office of Government Ethics, the Office of Legal Counsel of the Justice Department, the General Services Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management.
“We are bringing this first legal action using the Freedom of Information Act to underscore the fact that President Trump is not above the law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director of the ACLU.
“Trump took the oath, but he didn’t take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family’s business interests comply with the Constitution and other federal statutes,” Romero said.
Trump had refused to divest himself of his business holdings, declaring that his sons would take control of his business. Likewise, he still has his full stake in the company and its subsidiaries.
“The ACLU files many, many FOIA requests. I’m certain this will be the first of many to seek info from what is now Trump’s government,” said ACLU attorney Brett Kaufman.
The ACLU said their FOIA requests is their “first rock in our slingshot” in their legal action to protect undocumented immigrants, as well opposing the defunding of Planned Parenthood and challenge abortion restrictions.