How bad is the Trump administration for equal rights for LGBT people?
AP is reporting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions
has gone far farther than merely rejecting Obama-era guidance on equal
treatment of people on sexual orientation and gender grounds.
He's now issued a memo telling federal agencies "to do as much as possible to accommodate people who have religious objections to LGBT rights." The understandable fear is that sincere beliefs
won't matter. A mere claim of a religious pretext will be enough to justifiy
discrimination — in employment, housing, public accommodation, anything.
This is precisely the problem — and also the point — the so-called religious freedom legislation passed by the Arkansas legislation. It was to provide a legal framework for discrimination against LGBT people. The courts — and the U.S. Constitution — offer some protection, though perhaps not the 8th U.S. Circuit that includes Arkansas, where the most-conservative court in the land holds sway.