John M. Becker

Indiana Will Consider 'Right to Discriminate' Bill

Filed By John M. Becker | December 30, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Christianists, Indiana, religious exemption, religious privilege, Republican Party, special rights, theocracy

quit_squirming.jpgA bill that would create a special "right" to discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of religion is coming to the new marriage equality state of Indiana, courtesy of that state's Republican Party.

The Indianapolis Star reports:

A battle is shaping up in the Indiana legislature over a proposal that supporters say will protect people with strong religious beliefs, but that opponents say would legalize discrimination against gays and others...

The bill's author, Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, said Friday that he intends to shore up gaps in Indiana's "religious liberty framework."

"The focus has been on same-sex marriage because that's the hot topic right now, but it goes far beyond that," he said. "It's important to have some religious freedom and protection."

More, after the break.

The Star continues:

The bill could have broad implications, according to Micah Clark, director of the American Family Association of Indiana, an organization lobbying for the measure.

It would allow small businesses -- such as bakeries, caterers, florists, and wedding chapels -- to refuse services to gay couples based on the owner's religious beliefs, he said. It would also allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples, he said.

"The freedom of conscience bill is really about limiting government's ability to squelch freedom of religion, conscience or speech," Clark said.

But of course, this hate group chapter president is lying. This bill isn't about stopping the government from attacking religion, it's about creating special rights for bigots so that "because Jesus" becomes a valid legal excuse to refuse service to queers in the Hoosier State.

As the Star points out, the measure is likely to receive "serious consideration" in the next session of the state's General Assembly, which is dominated in both branches by supermajorities of hardcore conservative Republicans.

Here's hoping that the same dedicated LGBT advocates who stopped a proposed marriage discrimination amendment this year will again mobilize to beat down this back-door attack on LGBT civil rights in 2015.

"Quit Squirming" cartoon by artist Mike Ritter of the GA Voice.

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