Monday, June 29, 2015

Religious Liberty in Homosexualists' Crosshairs

Having destroyed marriage and family in America, the sexual revolutionaries and their cohorts are planning their next advance on their ultimate target: Christianity.  In response, Christians are circling the wagons around the First Freedom of the Constitution, but recent cowering by so-called conservative government leaders does not bode well for freedom of religion in America.

For background, read The Gay 'Untied' States of America

UPDATE 9/29/15 - President Obama Speech: Gay Agenda Trumps Christianity

UPDATE 8/2/15: Christian Prayer Outrages California City Council

UPDATE 7/25/15: Kentucky Forbids Pastors Calling Homosexuality 'Sinful'

UPDATE 7/4/15: ACLU Sues Christians for Refusing 'Gay Marriage'

UPDATE 7/23/15: County Clerk Sues for 'Christian Rights,' Refuses 'Gay Marriage'

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Homosexualists say the Gay Agenda will be Complete when Christians are Muzzled

Senator Ted Cruz Says the Gay Agenda Ends Christian Liberty

Indiana Religious Liberty Law Fights Gay Agenda, then GOP Leaders Surrender within Hours

Pastors Face Fines, Jail for Refusing 'Gay Wedding'

Homosexuals Force Closure of Iowa Christian Wedding Chapel

Pastor Arrested in California for Reading Bible in Public

Canadian Pastor Found Guilty of Hate Crime for Resisting Gay Agenda

Michigan Christian Business Trashed by Homosexualists

American Decline: Pres. Obama's Gay Agenda vs Christians

-- From "After gay marriage loss in high court, conservatives issue call to arms for religious freedom" by Rachel Zoll And Steve Peoples, Associated Press 6/29/15

The religious liberty fight isn't about what happens inside the sanctuary. First Amendment protections for worship and clergy are clear. Potential conflicts could arise, however, over religious organizations with some business in the public arena. That category ranges from small religious associations that rent reception halls to the public, to the nation's massive network of faith-based social service agencies that receive millions of dollars in government grants. Some groups, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, also want protections for individual business owners who consider it immoral to provide benefits for the same-sex spouse of an employee or cater gay weddings.

Conservative religious groups have for years been on watch for potential clashes over religious liberty and gay rights, and have been lobbying for religious exemptions in statehouses and Congress. . . .

Earlier this month, more than 70 Catholic and evangelical educators sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to take action to protect conservative religious schools in case of government action to revoke the schools' nonprofit status.

And last week in Congress, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, both Republicans, introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which would prohibit the federal government from taking action against an institution that opposes same-sex marriage by revoking a tax-exemption or barring them from receiving grants or contracts.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "ACLU disavows support for federal ‘religious liberty’ law" posted at Atlanta Journal Constitution 6/29/15

In all of the hoopla over Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, you might have missed the Washington Post op-ed by an ACLU official, saying her legal defense organization could no longer support the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Louise Melling, the ACLU’s deputy legal director, cited last year’s Hobby Lobby decision by the Supremes, and the prospect that religious organizations will use RFRA to discriminate against gay married couples. . . .

In other words, the federal fight over the fallout from Friday’s high court ruling will exactly parallel the one that Georgia has experienced the last two years. Another round next year is inevitable. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "ACLU: Why we can no longer support the federal ‘religious freedom’ law" by Louise Melling, American Civil Liberties Union, Washington Post 6/25/15

The ACLU supported the RFRA’s passage at the time [1993] because it didn’t believe the Constitution, as newly interpreted by the Supreme Court, would protect people . . . whose religious expression does not harm anyone else. But we can no longer support the law in its current form. For more than 15 years, we have been concerned about how the RFRA could be used to discriminate against others. As the events of the past couple of years amply illustrate, our fears were well-founded. [The RFRA] is now often used as a sword to discriminate against women, gay and transgender people and others. Efforts of this nature will likely only increase should the Supreme Court rule — as is expected — that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.

In the Hobby Lobby case last year, a Supreme Court majority blessed the use of the RFRA by businesses to deny employees insurance coverage for contraception, a benefit guaranteed by law, if those businesses object on religious grounds and there is some other means of furthering the government’s interests. . . .

In the states, legislators, governors and businesses are citing state religious freedom restoration acts to justify all manner of discrimination against gay men and lesbians, including at commercial establishments. At the federal level, the Justice Department — under both the Bush and Obama administrations — has said that the government would violate the RFRA if it were to require that organizations not discriminate in hiring on religious grounds in order to receive government funding.

Yes, religious freedom needs protection. But religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others. . . .

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

From "Marriage Won, Gay Rights Battle Moves to Religious Liberty Laws" by Andrew M Harris, Bloomberg Business 6/26/15

While such unions were already legal in most of the U.S. before Friday’s ruling, 28 states don’t have laws prohibiting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Individuals in those states who lose their jobs or are refused an apartment because of sexual orientation don’t have the same rights as people elsewhere, a fact largely unchanged by the landmark decision.

While the ruling removes some obstacles to equal rights, including tax, health-benefit and even hospital visitation issues, other inequities may remain. . . .

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said Friday that his state legislature “should stand-up and pass non-discrimination for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, so that they can no longer fear being discriminated in employment or housing for being who they are.”

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, has said he plans to introduce legislation next month to protect lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgender people nationwide.

Merkley said the law is needed to replace a patchwork of state laws and guarantee the rights of the LGBT community in the workplace, education, federal programs and housing.

Requiring businesses to serve everyone isn’t an infringement on religious freedom, gay rights advocates contend.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay marriage faces southern rebellion as couples hit state bureaucracy's wall" by Alan Yuhas in New York and Tom Dart in New Orleans for The UK Guardian 6/27/15

Almost immediately after the supreme court on Friday made same-sex marriage a right throughout the United States, conservative leaders around the south indicated they would resist the ruling with delay, bureaucratic niggling and circumvention of the verdict on religious grounds.

Texas governor Greg Abbott quickly gave state officials his tacit approval to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses should the officials object on religious grounds. On Friday, Abbott sent agencies a memo, railing against “religious coercion” and citing the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that directed them to take no action against any official “on account of the person’s act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief”.

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal – a declared candidate for president in 2016 – made similar remarks, saying in a statement: “This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree.”

His state’s attorney general, James “Buddy” Caldwell, attempted to stall the ruling, saying his office “found nothing in today’s decision that makes the court’s order effective immediately”.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Republicans pivot from gay marriage to religious liberty fight" by Eric Bradner, CNN 6/28/15

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee channeled Martin Luther King, Jr. calling for non-violent resistance to the court's ruling.

"May I ask, are we going to now discriminate against people of conscience, people of faith, who disagree with this ruling?" he said on ABC's "This Week." "I'm not sure that every governor and every attorney general should just say, 'Well, it's the law of the land' because there's no enabling legislation."

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz went even further in the wake of the ruling, telling an Iowa crowd that "the last 24 hours at the United States Supreme Court were among the darkest hours of our nation."

And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal predicted the fight over religious liberty would persist through the 2016 election.

"Here's where the next fight's going: I think the left is now going to go after our First Amendment rights," Jindal said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I think it is wrong for the federal government to force Christian individuals, businesses, pastors, churches to participate in wedding ceremonies that violate our sincerely held religious beliefs," he said. "We have to stand up and fight for religious liberty. That's where this fight is going. The left wants to silence us, Hillary Clinton wants to silence us, we're not going away."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Texas will give legal help to officials who refuse same-sex couples on religious beliefs" by Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times 6/29/15

Republican Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton issued a statement and a nonbinding legal opinion on Sunday saying religious freedoms guaranteed by the 1st Amendment “may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.”

Clerks who refuse to license same-sex couples “may well face litigation and/or a fine,” Paxton wrote. “But numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.”

“In recognizing a new constitutional right in 2015, the Supreme Court did not diminish, overrule, or call into question the rights of religious liberty that formed the first freedom in the Bill of Rights in 1791. This newly minted federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage can and should peaceably coexist with longstanding constitutional and statutory rights, including the rights to free exercise of religion and freedom of speech,” [Paxton] wrote.

Paxton's opinion was echoed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who issued a directive Friday to state agency heads to protect the religious liberties of all Texans.

"In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, the law’s promise of religious liberty will be tested by some who seek to silence and marginalize those whose conscience will not allow them to participate in or endorse marriages that are incompatible with their religious beliefs," Abbott noted. "As government officials, we have a constitutional duty to preserve, protect and defend the religious liberty of every Texan."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Utah conservatives discuss religious liberty in wake of SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage" by FOX 13 News and Matt McDonald, KSTU-TV13 (Salt Lake City, UT) 6/28/15

While some celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, others are gearing up for a new legal battleground, saying they want to protect religious liberties in the wake of the ruling.

Utah Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-District 32, introduced a bill titled the Religious Liberty Act last legislative session, and it sought to put into writing specific protections for people claiming their actions that may be construed as anti-LGBT were taken in accordance with their faith.

Some argued the bill was flawed, doing more harm than good, and it failed to pass.

“Our friend LaVar Christensen possibly will have another [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] bill like he did last year, but a majority of the Republican controlled senate said, ‘No, we want to actually collaborate with the LGBT community.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.