LGBT vs Religious Freedom

Bearses
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#1 LGBT vs Religious Freedom

Postby Bearses » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:08 am

Across the United States, state laws are being passed or debated that would allow businesses, adoption and foster care agencies, and even healthcare providers to discriminate against LGBT people. The laws claim – disingenuously – to be nothing more than an effort to protect business owners’ or providers’ religious freedom.

Tennessee has a law that allows mental health counsellors to decline to see LGBT clients based on the counselors’ religious beliefs. Seven states – Mississippi, Michigan, Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, and Texas – have laws that specifically allow child welfare agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples in adoption and foster care placements.

Often these are described as religious exemption laws, but in reality these aren’t true exemptions. None of these states have non-discrimination laws in place to protect LGBT people, so really these just function as a license to discriminate.

In 2016, state legislatures introduced a record number of bills seeking to restrict the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. North Carolina eliminated local non-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and required transgender people to use public facilities that correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth. Mississippi passed a law permitting religious believers to discriminate against LGBT people and unmarried couples. Tennessee passed legislation allowing counselors and therapists to refuse to serve LGBT clients.

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