On Monday, the Trump administration finalized a sweeping new regulation that allows federal contractors to discriminate against racial and religious minorities, women, and especially LGBTQ people in the name of protecting “religious liberty.”
It effectively abolishes critical workplace protections for these contractors that have been in place for decades, reframing religious freedom as a near-limitless license to discriminate. Monday’s move will force the Biden administration to waste countless hours and resources reversing this radical rewrite of federal law.
The rules restricting discrimination by federal contractors springs from Executive Order 11246, which President Lyndon Johnson signed in 1965. Johnson’s order barred discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. Presidents later added sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity to the list of protected traits.
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