Magazine article Church & State

AU Files Request for Trump Administration Documents about Religious Exemptions

Magazine article Church & State

AU Files Request for Trump Administration Documents about Religious Exemptions

Article excerpt

Americans United on March 29 requested from eight federal agencies any documents created since President Donald J. Trump was elected relating to plans or considerations to permit people and institutions to cite religious beliefs as justification for discrimination.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was sent to the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, justice, Labor, Education, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development; the Office of Management and Budget; and the Office of Personnel Management.

AU requested all paper and electronic records generated since Nov. 8,2016, including all proposed executive orders, regulations, policy statements, interpretations of law and instructions, and all related communications, that involve:

* Allowing a person, including federal employees, or a religiously affiliated, educational or other institution to seek a religious exemption to discriminate in employment, providing services, student admission, housing or health care.

* Material related to enforcement of a federal law that bars tax-exempt, religiously affiliated organizations from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing political candidates.

* Denial of federal contracts, grants or employment for religiously affiliated institutions or people acting based on religious belief.

* The government's response to any requests for religious exemptions.

* Any complaints received by the government alleging a federal contractor or grantee discriminated in employment or in providing services based on the sexual orientation, gender identity or religious beliefs of an employee or service recipient, and the government's response to these complaints. …

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