Q Syndicate✒Jan 7, 2016
On many Republican-ruled state agendas are "religious liberty" proposals to create gaping loopholes in civil rights laws. Loopholes you could drive a tow truck through.
The stated aim of "religious liberty" laws is to excuse anyone who cites religion from having to respect the civil rights of someone else -- by which they mean LGBT folks. Religious institutions already have that exemption. Don't expect the pastor at a WELS church to marry Giuseppe and Miryam, or to rent them Luther Hall for the reception.
"Religious liberty" legislation opens up the loophole to everybody else. While a gay couple in Atlanta can probably find someone to bake them a wedding cake that is just as good or better than the baker whose religious sensibilities might be offended by the prospect, that might not be true for a gay couple in McCaysville.
"Religious liberty" can be cited as an excuse for damn near anything, not just wedding cakes and reception halls -- see Pat Bagley's cartoon today. Republicans write these proposed laws so broadly that anyone could cite "religious liberty" as their grounds for discriminating in housing, employment, health care, education -- things the religious libertine no doubt takes for granted for him or herself.