Understanding The Push for Legal Discrimination: A Communtiy Conversation Tonight at GCCR
The very real threat of legal discrimination exists here in America, and is already in place in our home state of Virginia. The fight for ‘Religious Liberty’ using ‘conscience clause’-based legislation made headlines last year.
A South Dakota state senator lobbying for a ‘Conscience Clause’ bill which would allow employers to turn away the “undesirables,” including gays and lesbians, and anyone else who offends the business owner’s religious beliefs.
The senator argued businesses should be able to discriminate without legal repercussions.
Similar legislation has been introduced in Arizona, Kansas, Ohio, Idaho, Tennessee, Mississippi and Oklahoma. This is a new strategy used by opponents of the freedom to marry. Proponents of this legislation have been quite explicit in their desire to use freedom of religion as an excuse to discriminate.
In Arizona, after a broad conscious clause bill, SB 1062, passed and was sent to the Governor Jan Brewer, business urged a veto.
Apple, American Airlines., ATT, Intel, PetSmart, Southwest Airlines and Verizon were some of those weighing in. The NFL implied AZ might lose Super Bowl XLIX. Arizona Lodging & Tourism Ass received hundreds of calls and e-mails. People planning to travel to AZ for business and leisure began cancelling reservations. Even three Republican Senators who voted for the bill urged a veto. Brewer did veto the bill before it could go into law.
In Mississippi, with a smaller corporate presence, less tourism and less general support for LGBTQ citizens the legislature passed a Religious Liberty bill April 1 and the Governor signed it.
Will ‘Religious Liberty’ legislation come to Virginia? We have already lost the first battle.
The 2014 session of Va’s legislature passed bills to license Genetic Counselors that included a ‘Conscience Clause’. The Senate version was sponsored by a Democrat, the House by a Republican.
The Family Foundation is hailing the new law as “a great benchmark for conscience rights in Va” and promises this is only the beginning.
“If genetic counselors can be protected from being forced to violate their conscience, it follows that all other professions should receive equal protection,” wrote the Family Foundation after the bill passed the VA senate.
Virginia’s law not only gives genetic counselors the right to refuse to help gay, lesbian, or unwed couples, but some bleive it could allow a counselor to withhold a patient’s test results if the counselor suspects the information might lead her to have an abortion
Mon June 23 – Social 5:30 Meeting 6-7:00
Gay Community Center or Richmond – 1407 Sherwood Ave – in the Gallery
From national protests to grassroots activism, EV’s Day of Action connects local LGBTQ advocates and citizens with legislators on 2/7
“We have reached the point of changing hearts and minds.”February 2, 2017
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