Friday, October 23, 2015

Florida Republican Files Hideous "Religious Freedom" Bill

Anti-gay bigot Julio Gonzalez
Gay marriage is the law of the land, science is increasingly confirm that sexual orientation is fixed at birth and not a "choice", and rational members of society are moving on and accepting gay couples as a normal part of life as evidenced by local yacht and country clubs that are accepting gay couples as member. But in the Republican alternate universe where policies and legislation is based on a race back to the worst aspects of the 1950's, gay bashing and special rights for far right white Christofascists is the highest priority.  A case in point?  A heinous bill introduced in the Florida legislature aimed at granting the right to anti-gay discrimination to adoption agencies, health care institutions and many other businesses.  Towleroad looks at the batshitery.  Here are highlights:

A Republican lawmaker in Florida has introduced a hideous “religious freedom” bill that would empower adoption agencies and certain businesses in the Sunshine State to turn away LGBT couples for ‘religious or moral reasons.’

The bill is modeled on similar “religious freedom” bills that were introduced to disastrous consequences in Indiana and Arkansas.

State Rep. Julio Gonzalez filed the bill, HB 401, in response to what he views as the erosion of religious liberty caused by the advancement of LGBT rights.

“There have been various situations where there are increasing possibilities of subsections of society having their religious freedoms encroached on,” Gonzalez said. “Over time it became obvious to me we need to adopt some statutory protections.”  […]

[HB 401] states that individuals, businesses with five or fewer owners, religious institutions and businesses operated by religious institutions are “not required to produce, create, or deliver a product or service” to a customer if they have a religious or moral objection. […]

The bill does not mention sexual orientation. Its wording is vague enough that it would allow businesses to reject any customer for religious or moral reasons. Asked if someone’s race could be cited as a reason to deny service under the legislation, Gonzalez said there already are federal protections to prevent discrimination based on race.

Executive director of Freedom for All Americans, Matt McTighe, released a statement on the bill’s introduction:

“HB 401 uses a thinly veiled guise of religion to justify denying services to people in need at hospitals, adoption agencies, and other important institutions that Floridians use every day. It’s cruel to deny any child the opportunity to be welcomed into a loving, supporting family, just because they or a parent might be gay or transgender. It’s wrong to refuse potentially life-saving medical care to a person who has been in an accident simply because they are LGBT. This bill goes too far and would make Florida a worse place for everyone.”

Gay rights lobbyist Carlos Guillermo Smith, said Gonzalez’s bill is “sweeping anti-LGBT legislation” that is “extreme even for the extremists”:

“Bills like this threaten Florida’s tourism-based economy and could provoke an Indiana-style backlash,” Smith said. “It would be a disaster for Florida.”

I cannot help but wonder about what psychological issues plague Gonzalez and how soon it will be before he's caught in some gay sex scandal.  Anyone this hysterical about gays is generally hiding something.   Let's hope the bill goes down to defeat.

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