President Trump’s executive order on free speech and religious liberty doesn’t do much other than confirm existing law and focus on less important issues, says Ryan Anderson. He points out that what we really need to protect religious liberty is action by Congress:
“Congress can start by passing the Russell Amendment, the Conscience Protection Act, and the First Amendment Defense Act.
“The Russell Amendment protects the abilities of religious organizations to make staffing decisions in keeping with their religious identity and mission. It provides protections and exemptions consistent with the Civil Rights Act and Americans with Disabilities Act to all religious organizations that contract with the federal government or receive grants.
“The Conscience Protection Act creates a private right of action that allows people to sue in federal court if they believe there has been a violation of the Weldon Amendment, which prevents federal, state and local governments that receive certain federal funds from discriminating against health care entities that decline to ‘provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.’ This would address unlawful policies in California and New York that force all health care plans to cover abortion.
“The First Amendment Defense Act prevents federal agencies from discriminating against individuals or institutions for following their convictions about marriage as a man-woman union by revoking their non-profit tax status, or denying them government grants, contracts, accreditation or licenses.” [The Hill]