Monday, May 9, 2016

Velkom to "2016 Jim Crow Amerika" and GOP Religious Nuts on the Loose

Views Evolve But We Know the Rest of the Story, "Right Rev???"

Right Wing Religious Freedom Movement



1.  Various Religious Freedom Restoration Acts:  These bills, should they be passed, would make it easier for people to demand exemptions to generally applicable laws, by allowing lawsuits challenging any governmental policy, such as nondiscrimination laws, that someone says substantially burden their religious beliefs. The government must prove that enforcing the policy is the least restrictive way of furthering a compelling governmental interest. (Bills introduced in CO and IA; passed in HI, MI, NC, and OK; disapproved in GA, IN, ME, MS, NM, and WV).

2.  Marriage-related Religious Exemption Laws:  These bills allow different kinds of religiously based exemptions regarding marriage.  Some of these bills apply to religious organizations, while others apply solely to commercial entities or government officials.  While there are often variations in the individual bills, general descriptions are provided below. Some bills explicitly target same sex couples, and others would allow an exemption to act as to any marriage. (Active bills in 4 states: OK, HI, MI, and NC).

a. First Amendment Defense Acts:  Allows anyone - including government employees, contractors, and for profit businesses – to act with impunity based on a religious or moral belief objection to marriage for same-sex couples, or to sexual relationships outside of a heterosexual marriage.  This would open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination.  For example, government employees, government contractors or grantees – including those providing important social services like homeless shelters or drug treatment programs -- could discriminate against married same-sex couples and their families, single mothers, or anyone who has a sexual relationship outside of a marriage. (Active bill in OK).

b. Government Employees: Allow certain people authorized by the state, including magistrates, judges, and /or clerks, to refuse to perform marriages and/or issue marriage licenses. (Active bills in MN and SC).

c. Commercial Wedding Services:  Allow businesses open to the public and individuals associated with such businesses to refuse to provide goods and services relating to marriage. 

Some of these bills are limited to allowing discrimination only against same-sex couples, while others would authorize discrimination against any kind of marriage to which a business owner might object. (Active bills in MI, MN, and OH).

d. Pastor Protection Acts: Allow clergy, churches, and other religious organizations to refuse to perform marriages or provide wedding-related services to marriages to which they have religious objections. (Active bills in MI, MN, OH, and OK).

3. In Education-Related Areas:  Legislation would allow those with religious objections to undermine professional standards that apply equally to everyone.

a. Access to Health Services: A high school guidance counselor could refuse to counsel a gay teenager, citing their sincerely held religious beliefs. (No active bills in any state; introduced bills in AK and OK; bills failed in FL and TN).

b. Colleges & University Student Groups: Requires public colleges and universities to give benefits, including access to funding and the use of facilities, to student organizations even if the organization discriminates based on their religious beliefs. (Bill introduced in CA; bills active in KS and SC). 

The so-called religious right who professes to love all our freedoms, family values, and the Constitution is now nearly totally blind with their hatred of people who are not like them. Someone, please explain that and please in simple religious terms, too.

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