The Atlantic

Religious Liberty or Discrimination?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed federal agencies to strongly favor faith-related legal exemptions on Friday, imperiling protections for women and LGBT Americans.
Source: Carlos Barria / Reuters

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a government-wide memo to bolster federal protections for religious liberties on Friday, a move that could also weaken the federal government’s ability to prevent gender and LGBT discrimination.

In the 25-page memo, Sessions outlines 20 principles of religious liberty for federal departments and agencies to observe. The principles don’t create new protections against religious discrimination; instead, they instruct officials to give greater deference to religious-liberty claims under existing statutory and judicial protections.

“Except in the narrowest circumstances, no one should be forced to choose between

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