On Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued guidelines to federal agencies that will allow religious organizations discriminate against others as a matter of religious liberty. The memo claimed that the government could probably prevent religious groups from racial discrimination but there was lack of certainty in this statement. Religious groups would likely be able to discriminate against people based on their gender and sexual orientation, however.
Among the principles outlined in the guidance is that certain religious organizations are entitled to hire only people whose beliefs and conduct are “consistent with their employers’ religious precepts.” It states as an example that a Lutheran school may choose to employ only practicing Lutherans, only practicing Christians or only those who adhere to a code of conduct consistent with the precepts of the Lutheran community sponsoring the school. It also said religious organizations may be exempt from following certain discrimination laws if doing so would conflict with the organization’s religious principles.