Trump to sign religious liberty executive order setting stage for LGBTQ discrimination

AP

President Donald Trump is set to sign a controversial executive order on "religious liberty" on Thursday, Politico reported.

A leaked draft of the executive order was published by the Nation in February, and showed that the order would allow Americans to cite their religious beliefs in order to exempt themselves from adhering to policies on everything from contraception mandates to LGBTQ protections.

According to the draft order, "any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations" can cite religious freedom in order to exempt themselves from recognizing same-sex marriage, transgender rights or contraception and abortion services.

The draft text is similar to other religious freedom bills passed throughout the country, which have sparked controversy and condemnation.

During his term as governor of Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence signed a religious freedom bill that backfired so spectacularly, it imperiled his possible gubernatorial reelection bid and forced him to sign a fix lessening the initial bill's scope.

Politico reported that White House lawyers are currently reviewing the order. It's almost assured that the order will be challenged in court, and the ACLU has wasted no time threatening legal action.

"If President Trump signs an executive order that attempts to provide a license to discriminate against women or LGBT people, we will see him in court," Louise Melling, deputy legal director at the ACLU, said in a statement.

Three of Trump's executive orders have been blocked by federal courts to date: Two iterations of his travel ban were blocked, as was Trump's threat to pull funding from sanctuary cities.

May 2, 2017 3:53 p.m.: This article has been updated.