USA, Oregon: Anti Gay Groups Seek to Put Right to Discriminate Initiative on Ballot

Written by scott on November 22nd, 2013

Oregon Family CouncilAs Oregon gay rights groups gather signatures to put marriage equality on the ballot next year, anti gay groups have come up with a new strategy – put a competing measure on that would allow any wedding vendor to discriminate against LGBT couples.

Think Progress reports:

The proposed Protect Religious Freedom Initiative would create a “right to discriminate” for any business that normally works with weddings. Were it to pass, florists, bakers, photographers, and other wedding professionals could simply refuse to serve same-sex couples without being in violation of the state’s public accommodation nondiscrimination protections. Here’s the proposed text:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if doing so would violate a person’s deeply held religious beliefs, a person acting in a nongovernmental capacity may not be:

(a) Penalized by the state or a political subdivision of this state for declining to solemnize, celebrate, participate in, facilitate, or support any same-sex marriage ceremony or its arrangements, same-sex civil union ceremony or its arrangements, or same-sex domestic partnership ceremony or its arrangements; or

(b) Subject to a civil action for declining to solemnize, celebrate, participate in, facilitate, or support any same-sex marriage ceremony or its arrangements, same-sex civil union ceremony or its arrangements, or same-sex domestic partnership ceremony or its arrangements.

What strikes me is how it specifically calls out same sex couples, implicitly stating that we are second class citizens – and how they mean to keep us that way. Our argument here needs to be – would this be allowed if the initiative read “bi-racial couples” instead of “same sex couples”?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

 

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