A “License to Discriminate” bill that would sanction discrimination against LGBT Kentuckians passed out of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee this morning. Senate Bill 180, introduced by Senator Albert Robinson of London, seeks to gut local LGBT Fairness Ordinances passed by eight Kentucky cities and make discrimination against LGBT citizens legal for all who claim “religion” as the reason for their hate.
Senate Bill 180 – THE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY/RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE ACT
SB180/LM (BR1548) – A. Robinson, W. Westerfield, D. Carroll
AN ACT relating to the protection of rights.
Create a new section of KRS Chapter 446 to define “protected activities,” “protected activity provider,” and “protected rights”; provide legislative intent; prohibit any statute, regulation, ordinance, order, judgment, of other law or action by any court, commission, or other public agency from impairing, impeding, infringing upon, or otherwise restricting the exercise of protected rights by any protected activity provider; prohibit a protected activity provider from being fined, imprisoned, held in contempt, or otherwise punished or found liable for actions or inactions related to providing or refusing to provide protected activities unless a court finds that the complaining person or the government proved by clear and convincing evidence that a compelling governmental interest in infringing upon the act or refusal to act existed and the least restrictive means was used.
The anti-gay Kentucky Family Foundation writes:
Across America, Religious Liberty and Rights of Conscience have been intensely under attack for more than two decades . . . and especially in 2015. To stop the onslaught, this bill underscores the underlying premise of the First Amendment – in particular, the “free exercise” of religion and its undergirding of the rights of conscience. By so doing, it is an effort to properly apply Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation” that he proposed in order to keep government out of a citizen’s free exercise of their faith.
“Senate Bill 180 is nothing but a license to discriminate,” shared Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman. “This legislation seeks to undo the hard work of eight Kentucky cities that chose to protect all their residents from discrimination. These cities, like nearly 200 local employers in the Kentucky Competitive Workforce Coalition, know that discrimination is bad for business. Should the Kentucky General Assembly pass this license to discriminate, it will have untold negative effects on our commonwealth’s tourism, economics, and business development.”
Earlier this week the Kentucky Senate passed Senate Bill 15 – THE STUDENT FREE SPEECH AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY ACT which would allow students to openly bully others in the name of religion.
Consistent with the Constitutions of the United States of America and the
Commonwealth of Kentucky, and subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this
section, a student shall be permitted to voluntarily:
(a) Pray or engage in religious activities in a public school, vocally or silently,
alone or with other students to the same extent and under the same
circumstances as a student is permitted to vocally or silently reflect, meditate,[
or] speak on, or engage in nonreligious matters alone or with other students in
the public school;
(b) Express religious or political viewpoints in a public school to the same extent
UNOFFICIAL COPY AS OF 02/04/16 16 REG. SESS. 16 RS SB 15/GA
Page 2 of 6 SB001510.100 – 308 – 3710 GA
and under the same circumstances as a student is permitted to express
viewpoints on nonreligious or nonpolitical topics or subjects in the school;
(c) Express religious or political viewpoints in classroom, homework, artwork,
and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination or penalty
based on the religious or political content of the submissions;
(d) Speak to and attempt to discuss religious or political viewpoints with other
students in a public school to the same extent and under the same
circumstances as a student is permitted to speak to and attempt to share
nonreligious or nonpolitical viewpoints with other students. However, any
student may demand that this speech or these attempts to share religious or
political viewpoints not be directed at him or her;
(e)[(d)] Distribute religious or political literature in a public school, subject to
reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions to the same extent and under
the same circumstances as a student is permitted to distribute literature on
nonreligious or nonpolitical topics or subjects in the school;[ and]
(f)[(e)] Display religious messages on items of clothing to the same extent that
a student is permitted to display nonreligious messages on items of clothing;
(g) Access public secondary school facilities during noninstructional time as a
member of a religious student organization for activities that may include
prayer, Bible reading, or other worship exercises to the same extent that
members of nonreligious student organizations are permitted access during
Will someone stop the madness? Where are our national organizations? Oh that’s right the Task Force is too busy enabling Special Snowflakes to protest anything but the real issues that affect us all and the Human Rights Campaign is too busy stumping for Chad Griffins old friend Hillary Clinton while states pass these heinous laws.
This is a very dangerous situation and is reminiscent of when states got together to write their own anti-gay marriage laws and out LGBT organizations did nothing. It took 20 years and the fall of DOMA to correct that. Can we not learn by our past mistakes.