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In the intensifying debate over religious liberty, President Barack Obama faces pressure from opposite flanks as he prepares to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in hiring. Many religious leaders and conservative groups want him to exempt religious organizations from the order. Liberal clergy and groups advocating on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people adamantly oppose such an exemption — and have pulled their support for a non-discrimination bill they long supported to drive the point home.



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