Saturday, April 04, 2015

RFRA v. LGBT Rights--cont.

This debate gets more confusing all the time.  The debate ignores a number of important differences between constitutions and statues, and state v. federal laws ,etc. See this article helps sort things out.  States need to decide on whether they want laws that ban or limit discrimination against LGBT persons. Then the issue becomes whether that state law violates First Amendment freedom of religion.  I hope to get to that issue in a later post.  For now, however, in part, the article states:
"What has completely changed are the politics around the issue, the symbolism of what voting for one of these laws means," Sanders said.
In other words, it’s how some conservatives want Indiana’s law to work that fosters fear among civil rights advocates for how it might.
Still, constitutional law professors say both sides are misinterpreting the point of these laws. The courts have not approved exemptions to discriminate against gays under religious freedom laws, and likely would not because the government has a compelling interest in protecting civil rights.
The two sides are essentially yelling past one another about a non-issue when they should be working on enacting protections based on sexual orientation in Indiana, said Robin Fretwell Wilson, professor and director of the family law and policy program at the University of Illinois College of Law.
"If there’s a license to discriminate in Indiana, it’s the fact there’s an absence of a statewide law that makes a promise to the LGBT community," she said. "RFRA is about minoritarian religion against government, by and large."

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