Monday, November 24, 2014

'Religious freedom' bills will be next chapter in anti-gay discrimination

In the 50s and 60s, they said we were perverts who ought to be jailed.

In the 70s, they said we recruit children.

In the 80s, they said we were diseased freaks who run around catching AIDS.

In the 90s, they said we wanted "special rights."

In the 2000s, they said we wanted to redefine marriage.

Now they claim we are trying to put Christians out of business and jail them.

According to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, those against marriage equality aren't wasting any time plotting their next move. In fact, they see the victories for marriage equality as a gateway to allow discrimination against gays on  larger scale:

Most state legislatures don’t come back into session for a few months, yet legislators are already announcing their intent to introduce so-called “religious freedom” bills for 2015. These bills would introduce identical or even broader versions of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)—the law that was distorted to allow corporations like Hobby Lobby to use religion to ignore the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. Legislators are advocating for these bills by claiming they will create broad religious exemptions from nondiscrimination laws.

AU strongly believes in religious freedom and appropriately tailored religious accommodations. Despite the fact that these bills claim to protect religious freedom, in reality they are a threat to civil rights. The language in these bills is too broad and unclear, and could open the door for serious and even harmful unintended consequences, including nullifying discrimination, public safety, and health laws.

Several states pushed RFRA bills in 2014, but experienced passionate backlash from civil rights groups and the business community: even the NFL threatened to change the location of the 2015 Super Bowl if the RFRA bill passed in Arizona. The bill still passed the legislature, but Governor Brewer thankfully vetoed it.

At least five states have announced religious freedom bills for the upcoming session: Georgia, Michigan, Texas, North Carolina, and Utah.

Read the rest of the article to see the progress of those laws and count on the number of states to grow. This will be the next chapter of the so-called culture war and if the lgbt community is smart, we won't be caught napping . . . this time.

 

1 comment :

BJohnM said...

This is absolutely the next phase in the war, and it is how NOM, the FRC, and AFA, among others, will continue their funding streams.

We're already seeing the pivot in much of their messaging, as they being to accept inevitability of marriage equality...so their next gambit will be these special rights for Christians laws.

This fits nicely with the strategy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also, as it gives them the platform off which to not only try to continue discrimination against teh LGBT community, but use them to continue to inhibit abortion and contraception. So they'll continue to heavily fund NOM.