You had to know this was coming. Republicans in Tennessee were outraged that federal law prohibited discrimination.
In December, the Greenville-based Holston sued the Biden administration for regulations that prohibit discrimination in programs funded by U.S. Health and Human Services grants “on the basis of religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and same-sex marriage status,” saying it violates its First Amendment rights.
So they did something. They passed a law to give religious adoption agencies a loophole, a law specifically designed to allow them to discriminate against same-sex couples. It was easy. Enabling bigotry against the people straight people dislike seems to be popular.
The lawsuit comes nearly two years to the date that Gov. Bill Lee signed into law a measure that allows religious adoption agencies to deny service to same-sex couples. The law allows adoption agencies to refuse to participate in a child placement if doing so would “violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”
But here it comes: that law is a blunt instrument that can be used against anyone. So a taxpayer-funded religious adoption agency used the new law as an excuse to deny a heterosexual couple the opportunity to adopt because…they were Jewish.
“The Tennessee Constitution, like the U.S. Constitution, promises religious freedom and equality for everyone. Tennessee is reneging on that promise by allowing a taxpayer-funded agency to discriminate against Liz and Gabe Rutan-Ram because they are Jews,” Alex J. Luchenitser, associate vice president and associate legal director at Americans United, said in a news release.
“Public funds should never be used for religious discrimination,” Luchenitser told Knox News. “The law should never create obstacles that keep loving parents from taking care of children who need a home. That should certainly never occur because of religious discrimination.”
End all religious exemptions in the law, please. They are going to be abused by the biggest dumb-asses in the country.