Thursday, March 21, 2013

NEWS: Group says opposition to religious freedom could doom gay rights ordinances


March 21, 2013

LEXINGTON, KY—A group supporting the Religious Freedom Act said today that the opposition of groups like the ACLU and the Fairness Alliance to HB 279 signaled a "new level of intolerance toward religion" that would provide opponents of local gay rights ordinances with a new reason to oppose them.

"These groups have now made it clear that they will not let First Amendment religious protections stand in the way of their efforts to force others to submit to their political agenda," said Martin Cothran, spokesman for The Family Foundation. "These groups, which have formerly operated under the banner of tolerance, are now displaying a breathtaking level of hostility to basic constitutional protections."

Cothran said that the opposition of these groups to a fairly mainstream piece of religious freedom legislation like HB 279 "signals a new level of religious intolerance in this state that will require a more organized effort on the part of churches and others to oppose these ordinances in the future."

"The effort to veto this bill confirms our worst fears about the implications of these ordinances." Cothran cited the case of a Lexington T-shirt company that was charged with violating a Lexington "fairness" ordinance because its religious owner refused to print T-shirts promoting a gay rights event. "Even though the law says only that discrimination against gay people is prohibited, it is being used to force religious business owners to promote causes they disagree with."


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