RFRA: Codified discrimination & hate

In 2015, Americans began learning more and more about the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA).  The subject is seeing light again in the Georgia Gubernatorial race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp.

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I don’t know what other provisions that may have been in [the bills outgoing Governor Nathan Deal vetoed]. But I would support a bill that is in line with federal law. It would be simply codifying what is already in the Constitution.”

 

I grew up in red Southwest Georgia in a steadfastly Southern Baptist family.

Even so, I’ve never had to bear the pain and indignity of a non-accepting community or an unloving family. In my religious life, I’ve been encouraged and fully supported as a human being with the right to exist. I have never been chastised for who I was, what I represented and who I wanted to be. I’ve had the privilege of having friends and family stand by me and loving me into being without regard to my sexual orientation. I consider myself lucky to work in a sector of industry and for a company that has a tendency to embrace infinite diversity in infinite combinations. All of that said, it confuses me all the more that people who I love and respect keep voicing support for RFRA legislation. It angers me deeply and makes me question the value of some of these friendships.

RFRA bills are well-aimed at what their authors hope to carry out.

Same-sex marriage is legal in all states now following a ruling by the United States Supreme Court.  Even before that, marriage equality was affirmed in South Carolina after Charleston County Councilwoman Colleen Condon successfully sued Governor Nikki Haley and SC Attorney General Alan Wilson.  People who are resistant to the affirmation of well-defined civil rights in this country are trying to create a vehicle that allows businesses to not get sued every time they refuse to bake cakes or arrange flowers for gay couples.  If you think for a second that this is only about flowers and cakes, you’re grossly mistaken

Hate groups and evangelical extremists are directing the show behind the scenes.

Rather than to rely on what I am fed through the news media, I’ve taken it upon myself to read as much as I can that has led up to the existence of the RFRA bills. What I’ve found in my reading is that the proponents of these bills are predominantly persons with deep ties to fundamentalist and evangelical Christian organizations, churches and lobbying 17-7-27-SouthernPovertyLawCenter-graphic615groups such as The American Family Association.  To underline what they stand for, The American Family Association has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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