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Religious Liberty Bills

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With NCAA Final Four basketball drawing attention to Indianapolis, the liberal press and Hollywood are whipping up a storm against the principled Indiana governor, Mike Pence. Last week Governor Pence signed legislation protecting the religious freedom of business owners. The law is called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, RFRA. It’s similar to laws on the books in 19 other states and to the federal RFRA passed in 1993 and signed by then-President Bill Clinton.

Many lawmakers believe RFRA laws are necessary, now more than ever, because the Supreme Court is about to decide whether or not to impose same-sex marriage on the entire nation. In recent days, Georgia nearly passed one until it was drastically watered down by Republicans who feared a reaction similar to what just happened in Indiana.

Indiana is one of thirty-one states that defines marriage, in its state constitution, as the union between one man and one women. But, as has happened in many states, last year, an appeals court ruled same-sex marriage is legal there.

Florists, bakers and photographers across the nation are being hauled before civil rights commissions and punished for not participating in gay weddings, citing their religious convictions about marriage as the reason for their refusal. These businesses are facing fines and mandates that they must serve same-sex celebrations going forward. RFRAs are meant to remedy this and other violations of religious liberty and protect businesses’ ability to operate according to the faith of their owners.

NCAA President Mark Emmert blasted Indiana’s law saying it, instead, protects discrimination. He stated, “We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student athletes and employees.” Apple CEO Tim Cook along with the CEO of Salesforce.com threatened to pull business from Indiana. Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle said he’d abandon a deal to expand the company’s Indianapolis headquarters. And, celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, Ashton Kutcher, Montel Williams, and even Hilllary Clinton, have attacked the governor for signing the law.

Governor Pence appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” to explain the bill is not about discrimination. But the left ignores rational argument on this issue. The hysteria and vitriol towards religious freedom and Christians is really disturbing. This intimidation means more and more cities and states are will give up religious freedom for sexual revolution.

In a related development, the United States Senate boosted the nationalization of same-sex marriage in a recent all-night voting session. Eleven moderate Republicans, many of whom supported natural marriage in their campaigns, ensured passage of an amendment to the Senate’s budget blueprint that adds same-sex partners to the beneficiaries of Social Security and Veterans Affairs. The VA and SSA have refrained from redefining marriage in states in which the people voted to support natural marriage. They recognize marriage based on the state where a couple lives, not where they were “married.”

But, in this atmosphere of intimidation, such common sense does not prevail.


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