Discrimination

Idaho: Northwest Religious Liberty Association Calls for Conscience Exemption to Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Greg Hamilton and Steve McPherson of the Northwest Religious Liberty Association testified before the Idaho House State Affairs Committee - January 26, 2015

This week, in four days of testimony, the Idaho House State Affairs Committee has been considering House Bill 2 (HB2), that would add anti-discrimination protections for Idahoans based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Advocates have been promoting the "Add the Words" bill for nine years and this is the first year that the Legislature has held hearings.

 
 

Americans Fear Religion is Losing Influence in U.S. Pew Study Finds

Americans Fear Religion is Losing Influence in U.S. Pew Study Finds

According to a survey released September 22, 2014 by Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans think that religion is losing its influence on American society while only 22% believe that it is increasing its influence. Of these, 56% believe that this loss of influence is a "bad thing." Of the 22% who believe that religion is gaining influence, 12% say that it is a "good thing" while 10% say that it is not.

 
 

Why Did the U.S. Supreme Court Decide Not to Hear the New Mexico Photographer's Appeal?

Why Did the U.S. Supreme Court Decide Not to Hear the New Mexico Photographer's Appeal?

By Michael Peabody – Although the U.S. Supreme Court did not provide a reason for declining Huguenin's writ, it is probably not because the Court intends to lock in the New Mexico decision or that the Supreme Court is not interested in addressing this issue at a later date. It is most likely because the Court is looking for a better case, perhaps a combination of several cases which represent different results in different jurisdictions.

 
 

Opinion: Don't Use Religious Liberty to Discriminate

By James Coffin – In the United States, individuals and groups have a long history of discrimination against fellow humans.

But over many decades, legislators and judges have curtailed our freedom to negatively impact others' lives based on our own prejudices. Such government actions have been a great blessing to the targets of discrimination.

Although anti-discrimination laws limit our freedom to say by our actions that we view certain categories of our fellow humans as inferior, unworthy or evil, they also help ensure justice for all.

 
 

Arizona Governor Vetoes SB 1062

Arizona Governor Vetoes SB 1062

Citing the lack of examples where a business' religious freedom was being violated under current law and the concept that the broadly worded bill could have unintended negative consequences, Arizona Governor Janet Brewer vetoed SB 1062 on Wednesday evening, February 26, 2014.

 
 

Arizona SB 1062 is a Bad Idea and Should Be Vetoed!

Arizona SB 1062 is a Bad Idea and Should Be Vetoed!

Arizona Bill SB 1062 is on Governor Jan Brewer's desk where she is expected to sign it, veto it, or ignore it and let it become law by default within the next few days. This bill modifies Arizona's 1999 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to permit business owners to deny service to gay customers, or potentially members of any other group, so long as they are doing it because of the religious beliefs of the owners. SB 1062 could potentially cause more harm than good.

 
 

Marriage Proceedings: Making Sense of the Same-Sex Marriage Cases (Liberty Magazine)

Marriage Proceedings: Making Sense of the Same-Sex Marriage Cases (Liberty Magazine)

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two highly anticipated rulings in same-sex marriage cases. First, the Court ruled that the federal government has to legally recognize the marriages of same-sex couples in those states that have legalized them. In a second decision, the Court declined to hear an appeal in defense of a California ballot initiative that had banned same-sex marriage on grounds that the nongovernmental party bringing the appeal lacked standing. For reasons discussed below, both decisions represent incremental steps that will ultimately lead the Court to consider whether same-sex marriage should be a right nationwide.

 
 

Aftershock: The Historical and Religious Legacy of the Salem Witch Trials (Liberty Magazine)

Aftershock: The Historical and Religious Legacy of the Salem Witch Trials (Liberty Magazine)

The similarity between the persecutions of Muslims in 2013, alleged Communists in 1950, and those believed to be witches in 1692 is a perceived threat to the traditional conservative Christian culture of the American people.

 
 

Religious Liberty News Briefs

Religious Liberty News Briefs

On September 19, a bipartisan group introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prevent the federal government from discriminating through the tax code against individual religious believers who hold the principle that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. According to bill author, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID)H.R. 3133, the "Marriage and Religious Freedom Act," "will ensure tolerance for individuals and organizations that affirm traditional marriage, protecting them from adverse federal action." The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC), and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL).

 
 

Ultimate Values: A Method for Resolving Cases that Force a Choice between Discrimination and Religious Liberty

Ultimate Values: A Method for Resolving Cases that Force a Choice between Discrimination and Religious Liberty

By David Hamstra – It is tempting to resolve the question in favor of one or the other depending on what our moral intuitions tell us about the way the world should be, but to do so, as I will argue later, is to impose upon the weak the vision of morality held by the powerful, putting our society on a trajectory towards totalitarianism. Instead, I want to propose an principled way to approach these cases that will hopefully allow those on either side to find common ground.