The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed allowing businesses with federal contracts to discriminate against workers on the basis of sex, race, LGBT status, and other characteristics. The rule, if passed, would be in direct opposition to Donald Trump’s declaration in January 2017 that he would leave the Obama administration’s LGBT protections intact. The 46-page draft made public by the Labor Department would apply to any organization that could prove it serves a religious purpose. The organization need not be a church to qualify, just any organization that can claim it is guided by faith, which could include schools or corporations. “The contractor must be organized for a religious purpose, meaning that it was conceived with a self-identified religious purpose. This need not be the contractor’s only purpose,” the document reads. Labor spokesperson Megan Sweeny told BuzzFeed News the rule could also protect for-profit businesses with federal contracts if they make religious claims.
In a statement, the National Center for Transgender Equality said the new rule would allow “firing or refusing to hire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It could also lead to federal contractors refusing to hire women or unmarried workers who are pregnant or parents, or even discrimination on the basis of race.”