Tags: lgbt | donna campbell | discrimination | religious freedom

LGBT to Donna Campbell: Your Proposal Would Discriminate Against Us

By    |   Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 09:42 AM

The LGBT community has a major issue with Texas Sen. Donna Campbell's proposed bill to add a religious liberties amendment to the state constitution, which critics say would essentially give business owners a license to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people.

This is the second time Campbell, a doctor, has introduced the measure in the Texas legislature, according to ThinkProgress.org, which noted that the last attempt ultimately died in committee review.

While similar measures have become law in Mississippi and Kentucky, Texas would be the largest state by far to enact such a law.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act would allow business owners to terminate or turn away members of the LGBT community and claim religious freedom, according to TheSpreadit.com.

"The government may not burden an individual’s or religious organization’s freedom of religion or right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief unless the government proves that the burden is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest," the proposal states.

The bill faced criticism from Texas liberals and conservatives alike during its first introduction, according to Texas Monthly. Liberals were concerned about the discrimination aspect of the law while conservatives believed it was redundant since the state already has the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Texas LGBT-rights group, Lone Star Q, argued on its website that Campbell's resolution is similar to her last proposal and just as threatening.

"The 2013 measure was supported by the anti-LGBT group Texas Values and opposed by Equality Texas," Lone Star Q stated. "Texas already has a statute, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that provides strong protections for religious freedom. However, critics say Campbell's proposal would go much further than the Texas RFRA."

"For example, while the RFRA says government 'may not substantially burden' an individual's religious freedom, SJR10 states only that government 'may not burden' an individual's religious freedom. Removing the word 'substantially' would significantly alter the scope of the law . . . Also, unlike the RFRA, Campbell's proposal doesn't include exceptions for enforcement of civil rights laws."

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The LGBT community has a major issue with Texas Sen. Donna Campbell's proposed bill to add a religious liberties amendment to the state constitution, which critics say would essentially give business owners a license to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people.
lgbt, donna campbell, discrimination, religious freedom
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2014-42-13
Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 09:42 AM
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