Better headline, perhaps, would be “That Ends All of the Bill of Rights Except One”-OEN
It is beyond dispute that throughout world history most of the atrocities on the human race were committed in the name of religion whether it was the Holocaust, Crusades, Inquisition, witch hunts, or near extermination of aboriginal people by Christian imperialists. Conservatives and their Republican facilitators attack women’s rights and persecute the gay community in the name of religion and claim they are protected by the First Amendment’s freedom to exercise religion as they see fit. The judicial system is being inundated with cases of anti-gay discrimination and attempts to control women under the guise of religious freedom, and if Arizona Republicans are successful a new bill will give any Arizonan the right to break any law with impunity if it is in the name of religion.
The piece of legislation that passed out of the Arizona state senate committee this week, S.B. 1062, allows discrimination against gays for any reason if it is founded on a religious belief. The bill is sponsored by Republican Steve Yarborough, who attempted to legalize discrimination last year, and it was described then by The New Civil Rights Movement as the religious “stand your ground” law, but it is much worse than religious license to discriminate. In Yarborough’s bill, the definition of “exercise of religion means PRACTICE OR OBSERVANCE OF RELIGION, INCLUDING THE ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.” It is precisely the argument Hobby Lobby is using to refuse birth control coverage for women and Utah is using to deny same-sex couples equal protection under the law to marry the person they love.
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