Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to tell if your religious liberties are being violated


The Big Lie The Media Tells About Indiana's New 'Religious Freedom' Law | ThinkProgress

The Big Lie The Media Tells About Indiana's New 'Religious Freedom' Law | ThinkProgress: There are several important differences in the Indiana bill but the most striking is Section 9. Under that section, a “person” (which under the law includes not only an individual but also any organization, partnership, LLC, corporation, company, firm, church, religious society, or other entity) whose “exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened” can use the law as “a claim or defense… regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.”
Every other Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to disputes between a person or entity and a government.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Why a gay man like me is going to make it hard for Indiana businesses to exercise their ‘religious liberty’

Why a gay man like me is going to make it hard for Indiana businesses to exercise their ‘religious liberty’: How will merchants in Indiana determine which customers can now be refused service under the state’s new “religious liberty” law? Take sexual identity. If every LGBT person out there were a flamboyant drag queen, it might be easier for a merchant to decide who to refuse. But some gay people, like me, are just average white guys — I don’t swish, lisp or call everyone “honey,” and if there’s a song on my lips, it’s more likely Jerry Garcia than Judy Garland. Am I responsible for his damnation if I let him serve me without mentioning that I’m gay and he doesn’t guess it? Must he ask all customers about potential offenses to his faith? Complicating things is the fact that some straight men are a bit effete and some straight women are kind of butch. Just because God made them like that doesn’t mean their dry cleaning should get turned away. So, perhaps Indiana now needs a law requiring I.D. cards for all citizens — yellow for the hets, pink for the homos — to protect both the souls and the profits of faith-full, freedom-loving Chamber of Commerce members. Or maybe gays should be required to tattoo their foreheads for quick identification.

Indiana Protects Religious Liberty. Why That’s Good Policy.

Indiana Protects Religious Liberty. Why That’s Good Policy.: But it isn’t clear that forcing every photographer and every baker and every florist to help celebrate same-sex weddings is advancing a compelling state interest in the least-restrictive way possible. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience doesn’t infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms.

No one has the right to have the government force a particular minister to marry them, or a certain photographer to capture the first kiss or a baker to bake the wedding cake. Declining to perform these services doesn’t violate anyone’s sexual freedoms. Some citizens may conclude that they cannot in good conscience participate in a same-sex ceremony, from priests and pastors to bakers and florists. The government should not force them to choose between their religious beliefs and their livelihood.



Since when is marriage a 'sexual freedom'? Marriage is a contract. Weddings are conducted by ministers. Conservatives can't seem to get sex off their minds, can they?

Tim Cook: Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous - The Washington Post

Tim Cook: Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous - The Washington Post: These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Angie's List Cancels $40 Million 1000 Jobs Indiana Expansion Over Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Law - The New Civil Rights Movement

Angie's List Cancels $40 Million 1000 Jobs Indiana Expansion Over Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Law - The New Civil Rights Movement: Since the year after its 1995 founding, Angie's List has been headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The $315 million corporation which lets users review local businesses, especially home improvement professionals, has been planning a $40 million renovation of its own, moving its headquarters across town and adding 1000 new jobs over five years.

But thanks to state lawmakers and Republican Governor Mike Pence's new Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, those expansion plans have been canceled.

"Angie's List is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents," CEO Bill Oesterle said in a statement today, adding, the expansion is "on hold until we fully understand the implications of the freedom restoration act on our employees, both current and future."

John Fugelsang: Mike Pence should be grateful there isn’t a law prohibiting ‘serving fake Christian bigots’

John Fugelsang: Mike Pence should be grateful there isn’t a law prohibiting ‘serving fake Christian bigots’: “You know, being gay is natural, hating gays is a lifestyle choice,” Fugelsang told the host. “And Mike Pence should be very very grateful there isn’t a law that prohibits businesses from serving fake Christian bigots. Because, whether or not it’s discrimination — it’s up for debate, maybe, it certainly seems that way — what is not up for debate is that it is not Christian.”

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Christian Lawyer Proposes Bill to Execute Gay People With Bullets to the Head

Christian Lawyer Proposes Bill to Execute Gay People With Bullets to the Head: Matt McLaughlin, 45, submitted the Sodomite Suppression Act to the justice department on the 24th of February. The bill seeks to protect Californians from the destruction that befell Sodom and Gomorrah: 

“Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” 

The bill would also ban “sodomistic propaganda” and fine those in violation of the ban up to $1 million and sentence them to either banishment from California or up to 10 years in prison.

Pence signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers - CNN.com

Pence signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers - CNN.com: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's decision to sign into law a measure that could allow businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of "religious freedom" has left the NCAA fretting ahead of next week's men's basketball Final Four in Indianapolis.

"We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

He said the NCAA will "work diligently" to ensure competitors and visitors at next week's Final Four are not "negatively impacted by this bill." Emmert also said the organization, which is based in Indianapolis, will "closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

GOP Reps: Chipotle Gets To Pick Its Meat, So We Get To Discriminate Against Gays

GOP Reps: Chipotle Gets To Pick Its Meat, So We Get To Discriminate Against Gays: Chipotle's right to purchase humanely raised pork is based on the same freedom that would allow a business to discriminate against LGBT individuals, according to a new op-ed from two GOP lawmakers. But much like a messy burrito from the restaurant chain itself, their argument quickly falls apart.

Chipotle recently announced it was taking pork off the menu at many of its restaurants because a major supplier was violating animal welfare standards.

In a new op-ed in the Washington Examiner Wednesday, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) say business owners similarly should be allowed to make decisions based on their religious beliefs.



Um ... no.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Oklahoma legislator wants anti-gay businesses to post no gays allowed signs.

Oklahoma legislator wants anti-gay businesses to post no gays allowed signs.: The Oklahoma ACLU has already praised Virgin’s amendment for “pointedly expos[ing] the absurdity of creating a new era of legalized segregation” and forcing businesses “to own their bias, and post it publicly for the world to see.” And that is, of course, the primary goal of the amendment. If the “religious liberty” bill passes, every worker in the state of Oklahoma will have a private right to turn gays away at the door, potentially a modern system of segregation. At the very least, gay people should be able to know which businesses will spurn them so they—and possibly their children—need not face the humiliation that comes with such discrimination. (Their straight allies, meanwhile, can easily learn which businesses to boycott.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Aaron Schock has another wardrobe malfunction

Aaron Schock has another wardrobe malfunction: Conservative anti-gay Republican Congressman Aaron Schock from Illinois has a hard time keeping his clothes on.

And an even harder time not taking a picture of himself half-naked, then publishing it to the Internet.

Schock, a confirmed bachelor who continues to face questions about his seemingly non-existent sexual orientation, is definitely gay in at least one respect: Aaron Schock is in love with a man. And his name is Aaron Schock.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Oklahoma bill would put an end to marriage licenses | News OK

An Oklahoma bill would put an end to marriage licenses | News OK: Marriage licenses would become a thing of the past in Oklahoma under a bill filed by state Rep. Todd Russ.

The Cordell Republican says he wants to protect court clerks from having to issue licenses to same-sex couples. He doesn’t want these workers put in the position of having to condone or facilitate same-sex marriage.


State Rep. Todd Russ R-Cordell
Under his plan, a religious official would sign a couple’s marriage certificate, which would then be filed with the clerk. Marriages would no longer be performed by judges. If a couple did not have a religious official to preside over their wedding, they could file an affidavit of common law marriage.

“Marriages are not supposed to be a government thing anyway,” he said Wednesday.



Marriages ARE a government thing. WEDDINGS are a church thing.

Oklahoma GOP lawmaker: Gays ‘don’t have a right to be served in every single store’

Oklahoma GOP lawmaker: Gays ‘don’t have a right to be served in every single store’: An Oklahoma lawmaker is moving forward with a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to potential customers if they find their “sex, gender, or sexual orientation” offensive due to their religious beliefs, reports The New Civil Rights Movement.

State Senator Joseph Silk (R) is sponsoring the “Oklahoma Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015,” which would protect businesses — religious or secular — from lawsuits for discriminating against customers who offend their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Landon Wilson, Transgender Navy Sailor, On Being Discharged And His Documentary Project

Landon Wilson, Transgender Navy Sailor, On Being Discharged And His Documentary Project: Landon Wilson was serving as a Dominance Warfare Specialist in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Afghanistan, when his life was turned upside down one day last December. But it wasn't because of any conflict with the Taliban or insurgents; it was rather at the hands of the U.S. military, a sergeant major to be precise, who, after checking some paperwork, wanted to know why Wilson was identified as female. A highly-talented cryptologic technician, Wilson had enlisted with the same first name he had been given at birth. But he’d enlisted before he transitioned as a transgender man.

Sex Expert’s Secret Is Out, and China’s Open to It - NYTimes.com

Sex Expert’s Secret Is Out, and China’s Open to It - NYTimes.com: Li Yinhe, China’s leading advocate of freewheeling sexuality, has been shocking this outwardly prudish nation for three decades.

An American-trained sociologist, she promotes one-night stands, sings the praises of sadomasochist sex and has called on the government to decriminalize pornography. She is also a hero to gay and lesbian Chinese, having for years pushed a same-sex marriage bill in China’s legislature despite little chance of passage.

More Than 300 Republicans Call on Supreme Court to Recognize Gay Marriage Nationally | TIME

More Than 300 Republicans Call on Supreme Court to Recognize Gay Marriage Nationally | TIME: More than 300 veteran Republican lawmakers, operatives and consultants have filed a friend of the court brief at the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage late Thursday. The amicus brief, organized by former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, was filed for the four same-sex marriage cases the Court will hear on April 28 that could legalize the unions nationwide. In 2013, Mehlman marshaled a similar effort for the case that overturned California’s Proposition 8, which had banned same-sex marriage in the state.

Planet Fitness cancels woman's membership after her complaints of transgender woman in locker room | MLive.com

Planet Fitness cancels woman's membership after her complaints of transgender woman in locker room | MLive.com: A Midland County woman's gym membership was canceled after she refused to stop telling fellow gym members "a man" was using the woman's locker room.



"Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members. Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity. The manner in which this member expressed her concerns about the policy exhibited behavior that management at the Midland club deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement and as a result her membership was cancelled."

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Texas Bill Would Punish Businesses If They Don't Discriminate | ThinkProgress

Texas Bill Would Punish Businesses If They Don't Discriminate | ThinkProgress: Texas State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R) has introduced two new bills that seek to criminalize the use of bathrooms by transgender people. Not only could trans people face jail time and fines for using gender-segregated facilities that match their gender, so too could businesses who make their facilities open to trans patrons.