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President Trump Signs ‘Free Speech And Religious Liberty’ Executive Order

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — President Donald Trump combined the celebration of the National Day of Prayer in the Rose Garden with the announcement and signing of his “Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.”

The order targets a rarely enforced IRS rule — the Johnson Amendment — that says religious organizations and other nonprofits that endorse political candidates risk losing their tax-exempt status.

The order also promises “regulatory relief” for groups with religious objections to the preventive services requirement in the Affordable Care Act. Those requirements include covering birth control and the move could apply to religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, which have moral objections to paying for contraception.

Trump noted that “freedom is not a gift from government, freedom is a gift from God” and said no American should be “forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenants of their faith.”

This story will be updated as more details become available.

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