Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen pray during the National Prayer Breakfast with President Donald Trump, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in Washington. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. is at left. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Warning that religious freedom is "under threat," President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to repeal the Johnson Amendment, an IRS rule barring pastors from endorsing candidates from the pulpit".Religious conservatives whose overwhelming support propelled Trump to the White House have been watching closely for him to deliver on promised protections for religious objectors to gay marriage and abortion. Kelly Shackelford, head of First Liberty Institute, a non-profit legal group that specializes in religious freedom cases, said no other presidential candidate was "more outspoken on their commitment to religious freedom" than Trump.While the president's comments were likely to be warmly received by religious groups, LGBTQ groups are anxious that the president could use his executive powers to curb rights."We think it is entirely possible there could be an executive order that creates religious exemptions," said James Esseks, LGBT project director for the American Civil Liberties Union. He added that the "narrative" that Trump won't harm the LGBTQ community was "not correct".
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