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Wednesday, 09 December 2015 23:11

The New Religious Freedom And LGBT Protection Bill In Indiana Is Intolerable

Written by 

david long

 

Indiana's lawmakers had first introduced a religious protection bill regardless LGBT rights. It seems they changed their plan with a new bill, but is it really a good compromise?

Indeed, their new bill will provide protection based on religion but also expand protections for LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.

As for the religious protection, the law will allow organizations and small businesses with fewer than four employees to refuse to serve or accommodate LGBT people.

Is it a good compromise? No.

First, this protection concern only discrimination in public accommodations and not the one made by public companies.

But we saw that almost all discriminatory acts are made by public companies, not registered as religious companies, but simply run by believers.

Even if this law provides a solution against discrimination in employment and housing, it won't solve the problem in any case to which we, and believer and intolerant people, are facing. They will continue to discriminate us, we will continue to fight to ensure this does not happen again.

But I have not told you everything, the worst is to come. First, a prosecution could be regarded as "frivolous" and could condemn the people who complained to a $1,000 penalty.

The state law will prevail over local ordinances. For example, LGBT anti-discrimination laws that are more developed in some cities would be canceled.

And finally, the law requires transgender people have lived with their "new" gender for over a year before they can file a discrimination complaint.

This is intolerable!

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long (pictured) said: "We’re trying to do our best to get a balanced piece of legislation."

Jennifer Pizer, the law and policy project director within the group of LGBT rights "Lambda Legal", described this bill as "a wolf in sheep’s clothing": 

"This doesn’t protect LGBT people — it is a road map for discrimination against LGBT people. It aims to guarantee the right of some medical, social services and other institutions to discriminate against married same-sex couples, and to do so with taxpayer dollars. It aims to write separate, lesser protections for LGBT people into state law."

Photo by the associated press

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