WASHINGTON—In response to the executive order signed today by President Trump, People For the American Way President Michael Keegan issued the following statement.
“Today’s executive order is an unambiguous attack on the separation of church and state and President Trump’s latest move to pander to the Religious Right activists who threw their support behind his candidacy last year. Even though Trump has failed to deliver on the big economic promises he made during the presidential campaign, he’s consistently catered to the far right as they’ve pushed their extreme and divisive agenda.
“In his order today, Trump tried to deliver on two key demands of the far right: to allow churches more ability to engage in electoral politics while keeping their tax exempt status and the government subsidies that attach to that status, and to make it easier for employers to prevent women from getting birth control. Neither of these moves have anything to do with true religious liberty; they’re both the result of right-wing activists’ long campaign to twist and distort that principle into a license to discriminate and to sidestep regulations they dislike.
“This EO can be added to the mountain of evidence that Donald Trump is not and never has been a ‘social moderate;’ he’s a loyal ally of the most extreme and intolerant voices in the Religious Right, and he’s willing to put that partnership above the wellbeing of women and the core principles of the First Amendment. Donald Trump continues selling out our country to the Religious Right in ways that will continue to divide our country even more.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.