President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday that gives religious organizations more freedom to take part in political speech. After signing the order — called Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty — Trump said, “We’re giving our churches their voices back.” Opponents argue the order would give religious conservatives the right to discriminate against LGBT people and women perceived to be sexually immoral, among other groups.
Earlier in the year, Trump said he would eliminate the Johnson Amendment, which prevents religious groups from endorsing or opposing political candidates, but that would need Congressional approval. With this executive order, the federal government is said to be building on the decision in the 2014 Hobby Lobby case where the Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot be forced to cover birth control for their employers even though that is mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
Morning Shift talks to Steven Schwinn, professor at the John Marshall Law School, about what the president’s executive order means for individuals, companies, religious organizations and more.