According to a senior White House official, it is expected that Donald Trump will be signing an executive order on Thursday that will effectively lift a ban on political activity by churches and other tax-exempt institutions.
Thursday will be the National Day of Prayer, where Trump will issue a guidance to federal agencies that will explain how to “interpret a law that says churches and religious organizations risk losing their tax-exempt status if they participate in political campaigns,” according to Reuters.
The official said that With Trump’s order the Treasury Department will receive guidance on how to enforce the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 law that Trump frequently complained about during his campaign.
If Trump wants the law changed all together he will need action in the Republican-led U.S. Congress.
Trump’s order comes with a wave of criticism. Many civil liberties and gay rights groups believe that the order “could include provisions to allow government agencies and businesses to deny services to gay people in the name of religious freedom. The groups have argued that such a move would be unconstitutional.”