Thursday, March 07, 2013

Press Release: Group charges opponents of religious freedom bill with “disinformation”

March 7, 2013

LEXINGTON, KY—A spokesman for the Family Foundation said he was disappointed in what he called the "disinformation campaign" launched by opponents of the Religious Freedom Act (HB 279), which is expected to be passed by the Kentucky Senate. The bill is opposed by the ACLU and the Kentucky Fairness Alliance.

"It's surprising to me that these groups would risk their credibility in this way," said Martin Cothran, spokesman for The Family Foundation, which supports the bill. "The wild accusations being made by opponents of this bill are almost becoming humorous—unintentionally, of course. They have claimed it is everything from an attempt to cover up child abuse by ministers to a clever way for churchgoers to avoid parking tickets."

Cothran pointed out that the language is almost identical to the language of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) passed by the United States Congress in 1993. "That law was sponsored by Ted Kennedy, signed by Bill Clinton, and supported by—you'll never guess—the ACLU, the very group that is now claiming it will bring about some kind of cultural Armageddon."

"If all of the outrageous things these groups say will ensue with the passage of this bill were really a danger, then why haven't they happened in the wake of the passage of RFRA? Why did they never happen in this country when the strict scrutiny standard that would be reinstalled by this bill ever take place? Why didn't they happen when that standard was being used in this state prior to the Kentucky Supreme Court case against the Amish last October 25?"

One of the claims made by opponents is that the bill would roll back local gay rights laws. "If this bill is used at some point in the future to exempt people with sincerely held religious beliefs from accepting behavior they disagree with," said Cothran, "we hope groups like the ACLU and the Fairness Alliance will be consistent and say that this law supports that position."

"If attempts to ignore local gay rights ordinances are ever made, the people making them will be able to cite the ACLU and the Fairness Alliance in support of their cause."

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