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>> American churches and other tax-exempt groups will be allowed to exercise greater political activity, under an executive order expected to be signed Thursday by US President, Donald Trump. Trump has railed against what's know as the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 law circumscribing political activity for groups seeking tax exemption, saying this at a National Prayer Breakfast shortly after his inauguration.
>> I will get rid of, and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment, and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution, I will do that, remember.>> Trump's order does not dismantle the law, which would require an act of Congress, instead, a senior White House official tells Reuters, Trump will direct the IRS to quote, exercise maximum enforcement discretion to avoid punishing religious and non-profit groups for expressing political views.
The order will also offer relief for religious employers that refuse to offer contraception to their employees. But some evangelical and other conservative christian groups had hoped the administration would attempt a more far reaching effort, allowing agencies and businesses to deny services to gay and transgender people in the name of religious freedom.
The official telling Reuters, the executive order isn't about discrimination, that anything currently illegal under law would still be illegal.