The theocrats are fighting back.
Legislation granting protections for tax-exempt organizations and individuals objecting to same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds is gathering momentum in the House. The bills, drafted by Representative Raúl R. Labrador, Republican of Idaho, and Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, already have 130 co-sponsors. On Thursday, the Republican Study Committee, the largest, most organized group of conservatives in the House, demanded a vote.
“All religious Americans deserve assurance that they can carry out their conscience without a federal government crackdown,” said Representative Bill Flores, Republican of Texas and the committee’s chairman.
Do they? What if their conscience tells them they have to kill same-sex couples? Or set fire to their houses, or kidnap their children? What if their conscience tells them white Christians should have dominion over everyone else, and they start shooting up government offices? What if their conscience tells them to persecute immigrants, or independent women, or atheists, or Jews, or trans people?
A competing Republican group has drafted a bill that goes in the opposite direction – it would would narrow the scope of protection offered to groups declining services to same-sex couples seeking to marry.
Last week, after Republican governors in South Carolina and Alabama pressed for the removal of the Confederate battle flag at their capitols, Southern Republicans in the House moved to preserve the right to lay those flags on Confederate graves at federal cemeteries, prompting an uproar led by African-American House members.
Oh for god’s sake – can they leave no provocation undeployed? Do they have to go to the wall for racism?
Republican leaders made it clear they saw a need for a legislative response to the court’s action. Without legal protection, Republicans fear religious broadcasters could lose their federal licenses if they do not grant same-sex marriage benefits to employees. Faith-based charities like World Vision, which rely on government grants, could face pressure — or even the loss of their tax-exempt status — if they do not drop requirements that employees sign a statement of faith, including respect for “traditional” marriage. Catholic schools risk losing federal teacher-assistance grants and assistance with school meals, Republicans say.
Mr. Labrador, in an interview Friday, said he was willing to work with Mr. Dent — and even the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights group — to get the language right, although he said measures expanding legal protections for homosexuals were outside the scope of the bill.
“We’re trying to draft the narrowest bill possible. We’re just trying to protect people’s freedom of religion,” he said.
Gay rights advocates say those concerns are overblown. In the last 30 years, only a handful of organizations have ever lost their tax-exempt status, and those have been mainly over fraud charges. Religious organizations that do not hire women have never been threatened.
Of course not. Nobody gives a fuck if women are shut out. Women are just women. Discrimination against then just doesn’t matter, it’s trivial, it’s fluff, it’s nothing.
Lady Mondegreen says
They can teach whatever they want to teach in their churches or their private schools. Why do they need to police what their employees do in their private lives? *
* Rhetorical question. I know why. They’re authoritarian fuckwits, that’s why.
Marcus Ranum says
Do they have to go to the wall for racism?
After all, it worked so well for them the first time.
I wish I had the cash to buy some art and enough city and local politicians, I’d commission a great big statue celebrating Sherman’s March. Hey, it’s honoring history, losers.
John Morales says
Isn’t the rule of law meant to prevent ” carry out their conscience”?
Knight in Sour Armor says
You’d have my 5 dollar donation for that.
Would it not save a lot of trouuble to simply remove all the tax privileges of all religious groups? It would be one less thing for them to worry about.
Blanche Quizno says
Hmm…@6 If we remove all the tax privileges – and that they can have this privilege is tradition, not a constitutionally enshrined right – then the religious will be free to do whatever they like without having to worry about whether honestly following their consciences will jeopardize that pesky tax exemption privilege. They would be MORE free, not less. More freedom is better. So yes – get rid of all the tax privileges. Freedom for all!!
Tabby Lavalamp says
Seriously, what the hell? What possible job could you have at World Vision that your views on marriage equality have any friggin’ effect on?
This is why I never donate to faith-based charities. If they just did the work they were advertising it would be one thing, but between proselytizing and ensuring their employees are kept to the strictest standards of sex-shaming and bigotry,..
Fuckin hypocrites. They don’t want to follow the law but how dare the government take their money that the government gives them. If they are so religious, then why the need for material concerns. Oh, yea… because they are a bunch of grifters.
A better slogan for these people: “How dare the government tell us what to do. We want to be the ones telling everyone else what to do.”