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Religious leaders ask for exemption from planned LGBT executive order

Jul. 2, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Supreme Court Issues Rulings, Including Hobby Lobb
Demonstrators rallied outside the Supreme Court building on June 30 as justices ruled that a family-owned corporation cannot be required under the Affordable Care Act to cover birth control methods to which the owning family objects for religious reasons. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

President Obama should include an exemption for religious objections from a planned executive order banning discrimination of LGBT employees among federal contractors, a group of religious leaders wrote in a July 1 letter.

Religious groups should not be penalized for not hiring LGBT employees and should still be able to contract with the government, the letter said. The Atlantic first reported on the story.

“An executive order that does not include a religious exemption will significantly and substantively hamper the work of some religious organizations that are best equipped to serve in common purpose with the federal government. In a concrete way, religious organizations will lose financial funding that allows them to serve others in the national interest due to their organizational identity,” the letter said.

The letter comes on the heels of the June 30 Supreme Court decision that put limitations on the government’s ability to mandate the extension of employee insurance to cover certain forms of birth control.

RELATED: Obama to ban LGBT discrimination among contractors

President Obama announced June 16 that he would issue an executive order banning LGBT discrimination among contractors after continued pressure by lawmakers and outside groups. Nearly 200 lawmakers signed a March 18 letter to the White House urging the administration to take action on its own.

The letter is signed by Noel Castellanos, the CEO of the Christian Community Development Association, Stephanie Summers, the CEO of the Center for Public Justice, Kathy Dahlkemper, the county executive of Erie County, Pennsylvania and others.

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