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Kentucky House Passes Bill Protecting Right to Discriminate Against Gays Based on Religious Beliefs

Kentucky passed a heinous bill today, the ACLU reports:

KentuckyToday Kentucky's House passed House Bill 279. The bill, entitled the Religious Freedom Bill, is designed to protect individuals' religious liberty from undue governmental interference. And though laudable in its purpose, the bill, as currently drafted, would undermine existing civil rights protections in the Commonwealth. It now moves on to the Senate.

If the Senate chooses to keep the bill's current language, and not amend it to include specific protections for civil rights laws, a religious individual could claim an exemption from any law or policy that prohibits discrimination-leaving racial minorities, women, LGBT people and others without adequate protections. We are particularly concerned that this bill could be used to undermine existing LGBT Fairness protections for individuals covered by local statutes in Louisville, Lexington, Covington and Vicco, Kentucky.

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  1. You can expect any law like this to be overturned by the federal courts. The Colorado law that denied gay the right to pass anti-discrimination ordinance was liekwise overturned, and had about the same kind of legislative intent. Can't see this surviving judicial scrutiny.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Mar 11, 2013 1:17:49 PM

  2. The Christianists have been culturally allowed to get away with this sh!t for so long they can't imagine it isn't a constitutional right.

    Posted by: Gus | Mar 11, 2013 1:20:10 PM

  3. Figures that a state whose initials are KY would f**k gays up the @$$.

    Posted by: Firestorm | Mar 11, 2013 1:28:37 PM

  4. Americans have completely perverted the idea of religious freedom. It used to simply mean that you don't get punished simply for belonging to a certain religion. It was never meant to mean the freedom to do whatever you want.

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 11, 2013 1:32:04 PM

  5. But these types of laws are NOT "laudable in [their] purpose"!!! Xtianists are attempting an endgame around civil law by declaring themselves exempt.

    It's this simple: If these inbred idiots claim to be U.S. citizens, they are subject to the U.S. Constitution and civil justice. If they feel they cannot abide by U.S. civil law, they should leave. Full stop.

    Posted by: One of the CA 36,000 | Mar 11, 2013 1:35:12 PM

  6. As a native Kentuckian (who has been away for 42 years), I continue to be ashamed of the Christianist redneck GOPers who legislate laws and elect idiots like Sensators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. Then again, a state who contributes tax support to a creationist theme park can't be expected to legislate any differently. Here's hoping if this legislation passes the federal courts will shred it in short order.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Mar 11, 2013 1:36:33 PM

  7. To say "hey Kentucky gays out there, just leave the state" could be considered a cop-out argument, so I'll say this instead...

    Besides self-defense training, when responding to those that aren't complete christo-fascists in argument on there supposed "right to discriminate on religious grounds", knowledge is power.

    Tell them the U.S. is not a theocracy. Learn about the DELIBERATELY mistranslated bible passages from their originally Hebrew contexts in both testaments - (regardless of an atheist or agnostic stance on your part) > beat them in their own construct.

    If your instincts tell you beforehand that it won't make any difference - don't bother wasting your energy nor patience.

    On second thought, learn up for your own sake AND leave the state.

    Posted by: Leo | Mar 11, 2013 1:51:34 PM

  8. any true christian would never sign or support such a law for the very basic law of Christianity is to reach out to those who are marginalized, hurt and or defenseless...this includes the LGBTQI community, the poor, the hungry, the migrant worker, those who are ill and elderly. I am a Christian and tired of being lumped into the category of the conservative nut jobs who have no respect for anyone but themselves

    Posted by: Rev. Joseph Shore-Goss | Mar 11, 2013 2:18:29 PM

  9. I see nothing "Laudable in its purpose" This is just another attempt to enforce a particular set of ignorant cultic values on the rest of society. Shop it.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Mar 11, 2013 2:57:16 PM

  10. Fun fact, the precursor to this law let Native Americans use Peyote legally!

    Posted by: Fensox | Mar 11, 2013 2:58:39 PM

  11. This is the results of the pollution of our environment. We talk about how it affected other species and nature but we never talk about how it affects the human species. It either stunned or regress the evolution on some human species. If we do not take it seriously, we will truly be facing the rise of zombies.

    Posted by: bambinoitalianoba | Mar 11, 2013 3:44:59 PM

  12. as a child of an unitarian mother and a congregationalist father, both faiths grant same sex marriage. wouldn't this law require the state to grant me a license to marry?

    Posted by: titus | Mar 11, 2013 3:59:46 PM

  13. Well it's nice to see that Kentucky has moved on from simply hating the Jews and the Colored Folk. :-\

    Posted by: Joseph L | Mar 11, 2013 4:15:28 PM

  14. This is a coordinated attack across the country. Here in Nevada they are considering an identical bill.

    Can Ari Ezra Waldman do a column on these laws? (Or perhaps he has I just missed it?)

    Posted by: agboinv | Mar 11, 2013 4:36:59 PM

  15. Just a reminder about Kevin, the Gay Llama Farmer from Kentucky and his story.

    Let's support people who are victims of Kentucky.

    Posted by: Lalala | Mar 11, 2013 4:38:25 PM

  16. I'd echo the other comments that this legislation is not laudable in its purpose. We have a federal Constitution. State Republicans are clearly using unconstitutional legislation to pad their security for the next election cycle or get credit with the Tea Party for making a run at a federal office. It's sad to see this happening in the U.S. in 2013.

    Posted by: Thomas | Mar 11, 2013 7:32:28 PM

  17. It ain't just Republicans, Thomas. The problem is a lot of Democrats are in on this, too.

    It's sad. You would have thought after the November elections that we would make progress on the legislative front. That has definitely not been the case overall. If Illinois fails to pass marriage equality, then that would be a pretty long string of defeats over the past 4 months. Legislators get off on bullying us. We're a convenient scapegoat for them. When it is going to end?

    If Kentucky officially passes this bill, that will make for 13 states with legalized anti-gay discrimination in it's constitution. On top of the fact we have zero federal protection from discrimination, times are definitely scary. We have to do our part to expose this hate for what it is because it's only getting worse.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 11, 2013 8:00:31 PM

  18. I left Kentucky after I graduated college---with no regrets.

    Too many backward people in a backwater state.

    (Yes, there are some good people there....but they probably should have moved out, too...)

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Mar 11, 2013 9:07:15 PM

  19. As a young gay man who loves and lives in my native born state of KY, I have to say that this is embarrassing and furthers proof I need to get the hell out of here. Hoping it doesnt pass the Senate, at least not with the language it has now. But of course it will. The Christians are already out of control here. And its even worse in the rural areas in southeast KY. At least Lexington and the larger metropolitan areas have some ordinances protecting civil rights. But this bill will nullify those, and in doing so will make it virtually impossible for gay people to live in Kentucky if and when it passes. SMH.

    Posted by: ble.d_out.colo.r | Mar 12, 2013 1:36:37 AM

  20. Didn't Jesus embrace EVERYONE? Why can't Kentucky be more like Jesus?

    Posted by: millerbeach | Mar 12, 2013 4:41:31 AM

  21. It figgers, can'tuckee!

    Posted by: billmiller | Mar 12, 2013 8:49:32 AM

  22. Another reason to stay out of Kentucky.

    You gotta love a STATE FULL of Bigots

    Posted by: Louis | Mar 12, 2013 9:21:35 AM

  23. Another reason to stay out of Kentucky.

    You gotta love a STATE FULL of Bigots

    Posted by: Louis | Mar 12, 2013 9:21:37 AM

  24. hmmm, American Taliban, anyone?

    Posted by: Ursula | Mar 12, 2013 10:38:37 AM

  25. If DOMA is overturned by The Supreme Court, this Kentucky law will stand not a chance.

    That it passed the Kentucky House at all only shows once again how desperate, depraved and bigoted evangelical christianity is.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Mar 12, 2013 11:32:34 AM

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