Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Religious Freedom Report 09.15.15

Kim Davis is still at the forefront of most discussion here in the US.

LGBT magazine, The Advocate, has noticed that there are Democrats who oppose gay-marriage also. (You know, like Obama and Hillary Clinton said in their first presidential campaigns back in 08). Matthew Craffey (The Advocate) notes:

  • Davis is in fact a Democrat. The Democratic candidate for Kentucky governor supports her actions and has actually said he wants to pass a law protecting county clerks from having to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if they have religious objections. The federal judge who sent Davis to jail for not carrying out her duties was an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush. In fact, the entire “religious freedom” protections idea stemmed from the bill President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993. As an Illinois state senator in 1998, Obama also voted in favor of a version of a similar bill. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has famously supported states’ rights on the issue of marriage, which would ostensibly allow “religious freedom” laws to be used to deny same-sex couples the ability to marry. The takeaway is the last big, big fight for LGBT equality will be fought increasingly regionally, and not so much within the two major political parties. For the most part, Republicans and Democrats who live in coastal states or large cities support full LGBT equality. It’s Democrats and Republicans who live everywhere in between who still have a way to go on these issues.......... as we’ve seen through these recent events, there is definitely work that our counterparts in the Democratic Party, the Stonewall Democrats, need to do as well. It’s each of our duties to make our respective sides better.
And in case you didn't know:
  • National Stonewall Democrats is a Washington-based LGBT rights group affiliated with the Democratic Party. The word "Stonewall" in group's name refers to the Stonewall riots of 1969, a pivotal event in the history of protecting equal rights for LGBT people.
SE Cupp and Joe Loconte discussed the issue on CNN.
Cupp, CNN's faux Republican, said:
  •  Even though I support gay marriage and am not religious, I really admire Kim Davis standing by her religious principles. And I sympathize with her inner struggle..................But since she was elected, and can't be fired for refusing to perform the duties of her job, isn't the reasonable thing to quit? --SE Cupp
Joe Loconte rebutted:
  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s entire campaign of civil disobedience was based on the belief that citizens owed allegiance to the "natural law" — a moral law higher than that of any civil authority. As King put it in his Letter from Birmingham Jail: "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."
    Kim Davis stands firmly in this American tradition of nonviolent protest against laws that appear to her — and to many others — to be unjust, because they violate the natural law about sexuality and marriage. Is there no way to publicly accommodate the citizen who holds these beliefs?
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) released the finalized version of the First Amendment Defense Act. This finalized version specifies which entities and activities are protected by the bill, and which are not.

  • “Matters of conscience and culture elicit passionate feelings on both sides of the political spectrum,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said. “This finalized version of the First Amendment Defense Act, which we’ve been working with religious liberty experts on for months, makes crystal clear that we are only seeking to prevent federal government discrimination against people and institutions that define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.”

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES llllllllll llllllllll introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on llllllllll A BILL To ensure that the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or par-tially on the basis that such person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage, and for other purposes. Entire Bill HERE

One barometer of the impact of such a law is that the New York Post HATES it: (Click through the headline for complete editorial):

Andy Ostroy, who bills himself as a Political and Pop Cultural "Analyst" for the Huffington Post makes it clear that everyone needs to just shut up and obey:

I have a suggestion to those whose lives are ruled by their religious beliefs: if gay marriage violates those beliefs, then don't marry someone gay. That's where your "rights" end. Period. [09.12.15]

 Not sure why he is called an "analyst."  A more apt title might be "Parroter-at-large."

 And Mary Reichard (World Magazine) reported:

  • Utah and North Carolina have moved to protect freedom of conscience, though countermoves from federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are creating jagged edges of legal complexity. In Utah, conservative Mormons and LGBT activists hammered out a deal called the Utah Compromise, which became effective in May.
    The Utah Compromise avoids what happened in Kentucky by making a list of clerks who have no religious objection to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or presiding over their nuptials. Couples can choose from that list of willing participants, thereby avoiding a nasty confrontation at the clerk’s front desk.
    “It’s working extremely well,” said State Sen. Stuart Adams, who helped craft the Utah Compromise.