Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Will Michigan's controversial 'religious freedom' bill die in legislative session?

It is a strong possibility - at least for now - that the controversial Michigan "religious freedom" bill may die in the state Senate.

According to Buzzfeed:

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville expects a religious freedom bill, which would allow people the right to refuse service based on their faith, to die in the legislature without a vote, according to his spokesperson.

“He does not expect the bill to come up for a vote in the senate before the end of the term,” said Richardville’s spokesperson, Amber McCann.

The state’s GOP-controlled house of representatives passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) along party lines on Dec. 4. The bill is now in the state senate, where Richardville, a Republican, sets the agenda. Michigan’s legislature session adjourns this month.

“He does not feel the need to rush any bill through for a vote,” McCann told BuzzFeed News. “RFRA is not a priority for Senator Richardville.”

Critics have dubbed the measure the “right-to-discriminate bill,” arguing it would grant people sweeping discretion to discriminate against any sect of society they choose on religious grounds.

Critics, particularly lgbt bloggers have pointed out that the bill is so broad that it can also protect pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for medication to fight HIV or hospitals refusing to admit lgbt patients.

Rana Elmir, deputy director at ACLU of Michigan, told Buzzfeed that thousands of Michigan residents have been contacting lawmakers in protest. She claimed that public opinion is against the bill.

Elmir has a point. Yesterday, according to The New Civil Rights Movement, there was a protest at the state capitol against the bill.

Above picture courtesy of The New Civil Rights Movement.

1 comment:

dancandan said...

the better name for this law is the Religious Bigotry Discrimination Privilege takes bigots to pass a bigotted law...