Thursday, February 18, 2016

'Anti-Gay' Religious Liberty Law: West Virginia

The West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act (HB 4012) passed the House of Delegates 72-26 and is favored in the Republican-controlled Senate, but Democrat Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin may veto the bill.  Christians say the new RFRA law is necessary because the growing number of local nondiscrimination ordinances allow violations of their religious beliefs.  Sexual revolutionaries are threatening businesses in order to pressure politicians to kill the bill.
"This bill will give state courts a balancing test that guides judges in considering cases alleging that the action of a governmental body has violated a citizen's deeply held religious belief."
-- House Speaker Tim Armstead

"Religious freedom is a basic human right, and a vital Constitutional right, that deserves protection under West Virginia law. Every West Virginian should be free to live and work according to their faith without fear of being punished by the government."
-- House Majority Whip John O'Neal
For background, read about the state-by-state momentum for Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA).

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Indiana Religious Liberty Law to Fight Gay Agenda Jettisoned by Republicans

Arkansas Religious Freedom Law NOT Gay Enough

Religious Liberty in Homosexualists' Crosshairs

Homosexualists Launch Commerce Attack on Indiana to get Gay Rights

Also read Supreme Court Justice Scalia Says Government Should Favor God of the Bible

-- From "W.Va. House passes Religious Freedom Restoration Act" posted at The Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, WV) 2/11/16

The proposal would let people cite religious objections to state actions in certain court proceedings.

Proponents say it protects people's freedoms to express sincere religious beliefs, as long as there isn't a compelling state interest to restrict them.

Opponents say it's a license to discriminate, particularly against gay people.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "W.Va. House passes Religious Freedom Restoration Act" by WSAZ-TV3 News Staff (Huntington, WV) 2/11/16

The bill models after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and laws that have been adopted by more than 20 other states.

Under the bill, if a person attempts to defend in court their religious beliefs against government action, a judge would use the following questions to evaluate the merits of the case:
1.) Does a person have a sincerely held religious belief?
2.) Has that belief been substantially burdened by government?
3.) Does the government have a compelling interest to substantially burden that belief?
4.) Has government exhausted all other means to achieve its goals without infringing on that belief, and is the action the least restrictive of that citizen’s religious beliefs?
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "WV House passes Religious Freedom bill, sends to Senate" by Erin Beck, Staff Writer, Charleston Gazette-Mail 2/11/16

Supporters, mainly Republicans, argued that the bill simply codifies a balancing test for courts to abide by when determining if a person’s religious beliefs are being violated by state action and doesn’t guarantee any outcome of that test. Opponents, mainly Democrats, argued that the potential legislation will be bad for business, harm West Virginia’s reputation and encourage discrimination against marginalized groups.

Delegate Mike Azinger, R-Wood, spoke fervently and at length about his belief that the Founding Fathers supported a Christian government.

Some Democratic lawmakers noted that religion has been used to discriminate in the past.

Mayors of several cities with LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, as well as a coalition of businesses worried about the economic impact of the bill, had spoken out against it.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "WV [small] businesses show support for LGBT patrons in wake of RFRA bill" by Erin Beck, Staff Writer, Charleston Gazette-Mail 2/15/16

Local business owners plan to display “All Kinds Welcome Here” stickers, designed by Jessica Kennedy, to signal that the businesses are friendly to the LGBT community.

Paul Greco, owner of Sam's Uptown Cafe and the Boulevard Tavern, in Charleston, said he hopes, “All Kinds are Welcome Here” stickers, which were designed by Jessica Kennedy, will be ready for distribution at Sam's by the end of the week. Interested businesses can also reach out through the Sam's Facebook page.

Keeley Steele, owner of Bluegrass Kitchen, Tricky Fish and Starling's, said she would post the sticker at her businesses.

Julia and Frank Gonzales, owners of Mi Cocina de Amor, said they would post the sticker, as well.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Major employers mum on WV Religious Freedom bill" by Erin Beck, Staff Writer, Charleston Gazette-Mail 2/17/16

A spokesman for Procter & Gamble, which is building a $500 million plant near Martinsburg, said the company believes it is “premature and inappropriate” to comment on the bill, since the company doesn't yet employ anyone in West Virginia.

The West Virginia United Health System is the second-largest private employer in the state, according to a Workforce West Virginia report from last fall.  Amy Johns, a spokeswoman for WVU Medicine, said . . . that no administrators were available to comment on the bill.

Charleston Area Medical Center spokesman Dale Witte said officials with that hospital system, the third-largest private employer in West Virginia, would not comment on the bill.

Marshall University spokesman Dave Wellman said the school also would not comment on the bill.

Representatives of Wal-Mart, West Virginia's largest private employer, and Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the state's fifth-largest employer, did not return multiple phone calls and emails. Wal-Mart opposed a similar bill in Arkansas, where the company is based.

Gary Broadbent, spokesman for Murray Energy Corp., said the company would not comment. Murray Energy is the sixth-largest private employer in the state, employing about 3,000 people in West Virginia. Broadbent did say the company has an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policy.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

In addition, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Gay Agenda: IBM Boycotts Christian Louisiana Gov. Jindal

Corporations Embrace Gay Agenda, With a Vengeance

Pro Sports, GOP Urge Supreme Court to Go Gay

And read Gay Agenda will be Complete when Christians are Muzzled, Say Homosexualists as well as Senator Ted Cruz Says the Gay Agenda Ends Christian Liberty