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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration will soon make it easier for federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples, Axios' Sam Baker and Jonathan Swan reported on Friday.

The big picture: In just 2 years, the Trump administration has worked to undo a major chunk of the protections the LGBTQ community secured under President Obama.

  • Rolled back an Obama-era order allowing transgender people to openly serve in the U.S. military.
  • Proposed rolling back protections for transgender people established under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Told the Supreme Court last year that federal law doesn't protect transgender people from workplace discrimination.
  • Will make it easier for religious health care workers to object to providing care and procedures that conflict with their religious or moral beliefs, potentially putting gay and transgender patients at risk.
  • Would weaken protections for homeless transgender people, including allowing HUD-funded shelters to deny them access or force transgender women to share quarters and bathrooms with men.
  • Removed Title IX protections for transgender youth ensuring they had access to bathrooms and facilities of their choice.
  • Changed an Obama-era policy allowing prisoners to be housed based on their gender identity.

Between the lines: This fits under Trump’s social conservative — religious liberty — agenda and is a big reason why he has such strong support from evangelical Christians who voted for him in record numbers in 2016.

  • Swan emails: Despite being held as suspect by social conservatives when he first ran for president — due to his pro-choice background and donations to liberal Democrats — Trump has arguably been a more socially conservative president than any in recent memory.

The bottom line: The growing power of the presidency means that, for large portions of the American population, losing — or gaining — legal protections is just an election away.

Go deeper

52 mins ago - World

Army to award Purple Hearts to troops injured in Iran missile attack

Damage at Ain al-Asad military airbase housing U.S. and other foreign troops in the western Iraqi province of Anbar in January 2020. Photo: Ayman Henna/AFP via Getty Images

The Army has approved 39 more Purple Hearts for U.S. soldiers wounded in an Iranian military ballistic missile attack on an Iraq base in January 2020, the Army Times first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Most of these soldiers sustained brain injuries, per the Army Times. Then-President Trump dismissed their injuries at the time as "headaches" and "not very serious," sparking backlash from some veterans groups.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.