Religion

Proposed labor rule would exempt religious contractors from bias regulations

U.S. Department of Labor office building
Photo: Alastair Pike /AFP/Getty Images

The Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that would allow religious organizations with federal contracts to "make employment decisions consistent with their sincerely held religious tenets and beliefs without fear of sanction by the federal government."

The big picture: This move falls in line with the Trump administration's record of easing regulations designed to protect against discriminatory hiring practices. The Department of Labor says it's proposing the rule because religious organizations are wary of accepting federal contracts due to "uncertainty regarding the scope of the religious exemption," per existing regulations.

Lutheran denomination claims it is the first "sanctuary church body"

In this image, a woman stands facing an unseen window as light falls on her face.
An undocumented mother of four stands in the First Unitarian Society Church in Colorado in 2017, after taking refuge to avoid ICE officers. Photo: Chris Schneider/AFP/Getty Images

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S., announced Wednesday that it had voted to become a "sanctuary church body" for undocumented immigrants, claiming to be the first North American denomination to do so.

What it means: Sanctuary cities and counties, the most frequently designated areas to dub themselves as "sanctuaries," "generally describe places that limit how local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration agents," per the New York Times.