Kentucky Republicans Push Bill Allowing Discrimination Based on Religious Beliefs

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Kentucky Republicans Push Bill Allowing Discrimination Based on Religious Beliefs

The new bill is being described as a “license to discriminate.”

Published March 16, 2016

It’s 2016, but a new bill passed by Kentucky Republicans is more reminiscent of the ‘50s and ‘60s because it will essentially legalize discrimination.

The mission of Senate Bill 180, described by some as the “license to discriminate,” is to protect religious freedom. This gives private businesses and public institutions the right to discriminate against anyone based on “a sincerely held religious belief,” reports WKU Herald.

That means if a private business owner doesn’t want to allow members of the LGBT community, interracial couples, or atheists, for example, into their place of business, they can legally discriminate against them “…unless the government proves by clear and convincing evidence that it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest.”

As for those discriminated against, the bill denies them the ability to sue in court, reports

Still, the bill would have to be passed by both of the Kentucky legislature, and signed by the governor before becoming a law, meaning there is time to continue fighting against it.

“Over the past decade I have witnessed an unfortunate trend toward discrimination against gay citizens, based on, of all things, religious beliefs,” former lobbyist Jerry Deaton wrote in an essay for The State Journal. “Nothing is more evident of that than Senate Bill 180 from the current legislative session.”

Deaton added, “This bill has already gained approval from a Senate committee, oddly enough with the moniker of Public Protection.”

(Photo: Caiaimage/Sam Edwards/Getty Images)

Written by Zayda Rivera


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