Religious freedom bill coming to Indiana

By Junior Mayema,

I have said this before and i will keep repeating myself that religious freedom to discriminate must be banned or prohibit everywhere, it is not freedom as we think, it is , it is actually  allowing some hate-filled criminals who call themselves christians to commit all sorts of crimes, acts of violences and atrocities against LGBT, religious freedom to discriminate took the precious  life of a beautiful trans girl who suffers severe and systematic discrimination and trauma committed by her own parents :

The death of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn should be a wake up call for Christians

It’s time Christianity is the source of refuge for LGBT youth instead of their source of pain. It’s time the church became the sanctuary Christ means for us to be. “No more. No more dead bodies,” Molloy writes in a moving letter to Leelah at the Daily Beast. “No more suicide notes. No more allowing people to justify their bigotry by spouting a cherry-picked Bible verse. If we want to prevent others from your fate, we need to stop being so passive on these issues. It needs to be said: bigotry in the name of religion is still bigotry; child abuse wrapped in a Bible verse is still child abuse.”
Every year, there is a Transgender Day of Remembrance to remember all the names of the people we have lost to suicide or hate crimes. Every year the list is too long of lives lost too early. People are dying. Children are dying. And the church has a role in it. As my friend Emily Timbol said, “What breaks my heart is that it wasn’t ‘society’ that failed Leelah. It was the church. It was Christians.”
If you’re unwilling to raise, support, and affirm an LGBT child – you shouldn’t be having children. If you’re a Christian who has an LGBT child please affirm them for who God made them to be. Our sanctuaries should be safe havens for the Leelah Alcorn’s of the world. Let’s eradicate transphobia from our pulpit and our pews and make it so. Because God doesn’t make mistakes — we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

That is why we have to navigate all options and avenues possible to stop religious freedom or bills popping up across this great nation to allow religious freedom to kill LGBT people THAT IS NOT FREEDOM THAT IS GIVING GREEN LIGHT TO SOME CRIMINALS WHO CALLED THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS TO FIRE PEOPLE, TO REFUSE TREATING PEOPLE IN EMERGENCY, TO KICK OUT CHILDREN AND JUST TO VERBALLY AND PHYSICALLY ASSAULTPEOPLE WHO HAPPEN TO BE GAY

Here is the world story  below:

A battle is shaping up in the Indiana legislature over a proposal that supporters say will protect people with strong religious beliefs, but that opponents say would legalize discrimination against gays and others.

The legislation has been widely expected ever since a federal judge struck down Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban in June. That ruling, which the U.S. Supreme Court later let stand, caused angst among social conservatives who feared business owners who oppose gay marriage for religious reasons might be forced to provide services for same-sex weddings.

The bill’s author, Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, said Friday that he intends to shore up gaps in Indiana’s “religious liberty framework.”

“The focus has been on same-sex marriage because that’s the hot topic right now, but it goes far beyond that,” he said. “It’s important to have some religious freedom and protection.”

The bill could have broad implications, according to Micah Clark, director of the American Family Association of Indiana, an organization lobbying for the measure.

It would allow small businesses — such as bakeries, caterers, florists, and wedding chapels — to refuse services to gay couples based on the owner’s religious beliefs, he said. It would also allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples, he said.

“The freedom of conscience bill is really about limiting government’s ability to squelch freedom of religion, conscience or speech,” Clark said.

But Chris Paulsen, president of Indiana Equality Action, said the bill would essentially legalize discrimination.

“We feel any public business should treat everyone equally and should not discriminate against anyone,” she said. “We would obviously vigorously oppose anything that allowed discrimination against the LGBT community.”

Schneider said no one will be discriminated against by this bill.

“This is a bill to protect freedom and protect religious liberty,” he said.

The specific wording of the bill still is being fine-tuned. But a version of the measure says the state’s actions “shall not burden a person’s right to exercise of religion,” unless the government can demonstrate that the burden is “essential to further a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering” that interest.

It also would allow a person exercising his or her religion to use the law as a defense in court, regardless of whether the state is a party to the proceeding.

The bill is modeled after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, which was passed under President Bill Clinton to protect religious minorities. It played a key role in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case in June. Justices ruled that the arts-and-craft chain store and other closely held corporations can hold religious objections that allowed them to opt out of an Affordable Care Act requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.

The federal law, however, does not apply to state and local governments.

Now, amid a spate of recent federal court decisions legalizing gay marriage, religious conservatives are lobbying for similar religious freedom legislation at statehouses across the country. At least 19 states have passed some form of the law, and proposals have recently been introduced in several additional states, including Michigan and Georgia.

State Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, said the Indiana bill will create a problem where there isn’t one and will just distract legislators from focusing on important topics, such as schools and wages.

“We are not being prevented from exercising our faith, nor are we being forced to do something we don’t want to do,” he said. “It’s kind of sad, really.”

Indiana lawmakers briefly entertained a proposal during the previous legislative session earlier this year that would have allowed religious schools and colleges that receive state contracts to make employment decisions based on religion. That measure was slipped into an unrelated bill, but later nixed amid public outcry.

Other controversies have flared up around the issue of what role religious convictions should be allowed to play in businesses decisions.

In 2013, an Indianapolis bakery drew heavy criticism on social media after the owner cited religious grounds for refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple.

And in 2010, a cookie shop at City Market faced possible sanctions after its owner refused to fulfill a gay student group’s request for rainbow-iced cookies. The incident prompted hundreds to protest at the city-owned market and Just Cookies later reached an agreement with the city’s equal opportunity office that required the bakery to post a “no special orders” policy.

Schneider’s bill is likely to get serious consideration in the new General Assembly, which is more conservative than any in recent memory. Several moderate Republicans were knocked off by more conservative candidates in GOP primaries, and Republicans increased the size of their super-majorities in both chambers during the November general election.

The 2015 legislative session begins Jan. 6.


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