He made no mention of an executive order that’s circulating that would give new legal protections for people and organizations who have moral objections to same-sex marriage. But he hinted his support for such a move.
“My administration will do everything in its power to protect religious liberty in this land,” said Trump. “America must forever remain a tolerant society where all faiths are respected and where all of our citizens can feel safe and secure.”
Georgia is all too familiar with debate over “religious liberty” proposals.
Galvanized in part by the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex weddings, religious conservatives considered the proposal a top priority during last year’s legislative session. House Bill 757 passed both Republican-controlled chambers within hours, with a promise to allow faith-based organizations to deny services to those who violate their “sincerely held religious belief.”
Since that veto, he and other critics of the proposal have pointed to the uproar in North Carolina over legislation seen by critics as an attack on gay and transgender rights – and the subsequent defeat of the state’s GOP governor – as a cautionary tale. He’s also made clear he would scuttle similar legislation next year, even as state Sen. Josh McKoon and other supporters vow to revive the debate.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson has advocated doing just that, voicing concern about a patchwork of state-by-state policies that could conflict with one another.
“It’s a national issue. It ought to be a seamless policy,” Isakson said in a March interview, adding: “The Constitution guarantees religious liberty under the First Amendment, so anything that passes to carry that out ought to be a federal statute and not a state statute.”