When is public shunning not discrimination? When the law says so. At least that is the opinion of the Arizona Legislature. "After the Arizona Legislature gave approval on Thursday to allow business owners to assert their religious beliefs and refuse service to gays, Governor Brewer has vetoed the bill. Kansas avoided passing a similar bill last week by tabling it in committee at he behest of business interests.
Who is behind this new attempt to validate religious discrimination?
After months of study, we have come up with three questions:
1. What is the freedom sought by this kind of legislation? 2. Should the State engage in resolving religious disagreements? 3. Who benefits from these legal attempts to legitimize discrimination?
Today, we invite you to a conversation about this new round of proposed laws that pit human rights against religious rights. What do you think? Please join in!
LUNCH with LOUDEN Thursdays 12 noon Pacific 646-929-2495 to participate or listen Listen online now or later at http://tobtr.com/s/5995631
Kansas legislators tried to make discrimination easy.
What's the matter with Kansas? A bill protecting the religious freedom of businesses and individuals to refuse services to same-sex couples passed the state House of Representatives last week. It wasblessedly killed in the state Senate on Tuesday.
Similar bills have cropped up in a half-dozen statesin an effort to protect anti-gay religious believers against lawsuits. A florist in Washington state, a Colorado baker and a New Mexico photographerhave been sued for refusing to serve gay couples getting married. They say to do so would be to "celebrate" nuptials at odds with their Christian faith.
It's probably news to most married people that their florist and caterer were celebrating their wedding union. Most people think they just hired a vendor to provide a service. It's not clear why some Christian vendors are so confused about their role here.
Coffee Party USA's insight:
When is economic shunning not discrimination? Apparently when the religious right says so.
A federal judge struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban today, finding that it violates the equal protection clause under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen followed arguments by the plaintiffs in Bostic v. Rainey who had argued that the 2006 amendment to the state Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman denies gays and lesbians the fundamental right to marry, essentially making them second-class citizens.
Attorneys defending the ban countered in court last week that marriage is a traditional institution that “celebrates the diversity of the sexes,” and that it is in the best interests of children.
The judge’s decision means that Virginia could be well on the way to becoming the first Southern state to legalize same-sex marriage – if the ruling holds up before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and, ultimately, the United States Supreme Court.
The judge denied a motion by the plaintiffs – two same-sex couples from Norfolk and Chesterfield County – for a preliminary injunction that would allow them to get married immediately, before the issue is resolved in a higher court. She stayed her ruling until the United States Supreme Court rules on the issue – which legal experts believe won’t happen before 2015.
“The ruling is groundbreaking for Virginia in some ways like Loving v. Virginia (the case that legalized interracial marriage), but we have a long way to go to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Carl Tobias, a constitutional law professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.
“It is bold in the sense that the Supreme Court precedent is unclear, but the Windsor case has language that can be read to allow same-sex marriage,” Tobias said.
In United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court last summer struck down a central part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The United States now recognizes gay marriage, but the constitutional basis for striking down the entire law was not entirely clear and states can still uphold bans that prohibit it.
However, A.E. Dick Howard, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Virginia, said that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in discussing the harm the Defense of Marriage Act has done to same-sex couples and their children, has essentially opened the door to a number of federal suits, including Bostic v. Rainey.
“Kennedy’s opinion is, in a sense, a road map for the attack now being made by plaintiffs attacking bans on same-sex marriage in state and federal courts around the country,” Howard said.
Currently 17 states allow same-sex marriage, while 33 have laws against it.
Last month in Oklahoma – which has a constitutional marriage amendment similar to Virginia’s – a federal judge last month threw out the state’s prohibition of same-sex marriage. MORE
Bob Marshall and 31 other state lawmakers have asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to appoint legal counsel to defend Virginia's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage now that Attorney General Mark Herring has said he'll seek to overturn it, not protect it.
Rev. JASMIINE BEACH-FERRARA, Executive Director, The Campaign for Southern Equality
In recent weeks, federal courts in Utah and Oklahoma have ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. These rulings -- in states that have long been regarded as likely to be among the last to legalize same-sex marriage -- do not change the law in the South. However, they do inspire hope as we keep pushing for LGBT equality across a region where anti-LGBT discrimination persists in every area of life -- employment, health care, adoption and marriage.
A church in Indiana has seen about 80 percent of its members leave after a gay choral director was forced out over his sexual orientation.
Adam Fraley told The Herald Bulletin that he worked for the United Methodist Church in Alexandria for six years and attended with his partner. When a new minister took over the church last year, Fraley said that he resigned because of pressure about his sexual orientation.
United Methodist Church law allows LGBT people to attend church services but says “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve.”
Many members of the church, who supported Fraley, were at odds over what it meant to “serve.”
Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday vetoed a Republican bill that set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination and subjected Arizona to blistering criticism from major corporations and political leaders from both parties. Her decision defused a national furor over gay...
When is public shunning not discrimination? When the law says so. At least that is the opinion of the Arizona Legislature.
"After the Arizona Legislature gave approval on Thursday to allow business owners to assert their religious beliefs and refuse service to gays, Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson put up this sign.
"The restaurant said, “Funny how just being decent is starting to seem radical these days.” See the full story at http://bit.ly/1bsFS2d.
Kansas avoided passing a similar bill last week by tabling it in committee at he behest of business interests. Who is behind this new attempt to validate religious discrimination?
On Thursday's Lunch with Louden we will talk about The Ethics and Public Policy Center's American Religious Freedom Program, the local Religious Freedom Caucuses, and the funding behind this national initiative. (Hint: Citizens United strikes again.)
The owner of the Riverside Cafe says all are welcome. But Kansas House Bill 2453 would let an employee refuse to work a gay wedding reception or rehearsal dinner if it was because of religious beliefs.
Coaches at the University of Missouri divided players into small groups at a preseason football practice last year for a team-building exercise. One by one, players were asked to talk about themselves — where they grew up, why they chose Missouri and what others might not know about them.
As Michael Sam, a defensive lineman, began to speak, he balled up a piece of paper in his hands. “I’m gay,” he said. With that, Mr. Sam set himself on a path to become the first publicly gay player in the National Football League.
Where were you when...? There are three anniversaries next week that represent events important enough in my life for me to remember where I was when I heard the news: Martin Luther King Jr Day, both celebrating his life and remembering his death; the Citizens United decision, a tragedy in the story of money-in-politics; and Annabel Park's Facebook post "heard around the world", the cry for civility and reason in what had become the vitriol of political discourse. [MORE: http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/wherewereyouwhen]
.Join us on LUNCH WITH LOUDEN today to discuss what these events mean to you, how you will commemorate them, and where you were when.... 12noon Pacific, 3pm Eastern 646-929-2495 Live http://tobtr.com/s/5873213 Live or Later