Audio: Family Research Council claims Trump will issue anti-LGBTQ "religious exemptions" executive orders next week

Audio comes as Attorney General Jeff Sessions files court brief saying LGBTQ Americans are not protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today released the following audio of Tony Perkins, the President of anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council (FRC), claiming that the Trump Administration is set to reveal additional executive orders next week that could allow people to use “religious exemptions” as an excuse to openly use a violent and discriminatory agenda against LGBTQ Americans. Perkins made the statement last night on Washington Watch, a weekly radio broadcast that Vice President Mike Pence has even served as co-host on.

Tony Perkins [49:01]: "By the way, stand by next week, you're going to see some follow-up to the President's executive order on religious liberty. The next phase of that is going to be coming about and I think it is going to be very instructive. We are going to see government agencies basically put on notice that they have to respect religious freedom. And that is not just the ability to believe, it is the free exercise of religion."

GLAAD leaked a draft executive order last February that highlighted the Trump Administration’s attempt to issue an order that would allow any business or person to use so-called “religious exemptions” as an excuse to fire someone, reject a housing application, or deny a person a service – like medical care – just for being LGBTQ. This draft executive order was very similar to Vice President Mike Pence’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) which he signed while serving as Indiana’s governor. RFRA brought open discrimination against LGBTQ Hoosiers and received across-the-board backlash from national businesses and Americans.

"If President Trump issues another executive order based on advice from anti-LGBTQ extremist groups like the Family Research Council, he will be harming countless hardworking Americans and their families,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “The ‘religious exemptions’ laws that groups like the Family Research Council are successfully pushing fly in the face of real American values and open LGBTQ people and our children up to discrimination.”

This revelation comes after a recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) showed how a majority of Americans oppose anti-LGBTQ discriminatory laws, also known as so-called “religious exemption” laws. This is in complete contradiction to the efforts by anti-LGBTQ activists like the FRC and the Trump Administration to issue such orders.

The audio follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ choice to voluntarily issue a friend-of-the-court brief for a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that argues LGBTQ Americans are not protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This gives the greenlight for LGBTQ Americans to be openly targeted and discriminated against by employers, landlords, business owners, or other Americans simply for being LGBTQ.

GLAAD warned about the possibility of additional anti-LGBTQ executive orders in May when President Trump issued his first “religious exemptions” executive order, which stopped just short of allowing rampant discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.

FRC President Tony Perkins has been glued to the hip with the Trump Administration since Day One. Perkins has visited the White House regularly – including a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office just two weeks ago with other anti-LGBTQ activists. Perkins even spoke about in the White House on the night of Trump’s announcement of Neil Gorsuch as the next U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.