FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2016
LEXINGTON, KY—The Family Foundation today called on State Senators to pass SB 180, a bill that would ensure that businesses owned by religious individuals are not forced to provide a service that would directly involve them in an activity that violates their religious convictions.
"SB 180 would put a stop to the anti-religious bullying we are starting to see that forces people to violate their religious beliefs by directly enrolling them in certain activities they have religious objections to," said Martin Cothran, spokesman for the group.
"The increasing aggressiveness and intolerance we are seeing from certain groups in our society is going to produce more Kim Davises unless we act now to draw clear boundaries that protect people from being bullied for exercising their First Amendment rights."
Cothran said SB 180 would not affect the vast majority of common services offered by businesses because most services do not have this character. "This bill does not affect the obligation of a waiter at a restaurant to serve a plate of food or a cashier at Wal-Mart to sell bananas. It only addresses those special and limited cases in which the service being requested involves the business owner in the activity."
"A Jewish restaurant owner should be required to serve everybody," he said. "But he shouldn't be required to serve pork."
Cothran cited cases such as the Christian couple who owned a Christian bakery in Oregon who was sued, fined $144,000 and lost their business because they could not in good conscience participate in a same-sex wedding and a Christian photographer in New Mexico who was sued because she chose not to photograph a same-sex wedding. "We are going to have more and more of these kinds of cases in Kentucky without the protections outlined in SB 180."