A “religious protections” bill that would have given anyone license to discriminate against the LGBT community by invoking a religious objection was vetoed by the state’s Governor, Pink News reports:
On Friday Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear vetoed House Bill 279, which proposed to give legal protection to those who “act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief”. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Representative Bob Damron, gained widespread support among Kentucky lawmakers, and was passed on Friday 1 March by the Kentucky House of Representatives 82 to 7, with 11 abstentions. It was then due to go to a Senate hearing.
The bill was so broadly written that almost anyone could claim a religious belief to discriminate against almost anyone else. And while the bill was targeted at the LGBT community, it seems like it would have been fairly easy to use it to deny service to someone based on race or sex or anything else the “religious” person claimed to believe.
This overreach is a bit of a blind spot on the religious right, who see a clear line between the LGBT community (who they view as having chosen their “lifestyle”) and the african american community (who they see as born that way).
But in reality, although the struggles of the two minority groups have been different, both were born that way, and have faced the same bigotry and hatred.
We salute Governor Beshear for doing the right thing.