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Monday, March 30, 2015

Hiding Bigotry Behind Religion


You've probably heard about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that Indiana governor Mike Pence signed last week, which allows companies to discriminate against gays and lesbians by refusing to sell them services or products because of the provider's religious beliefs.

It's nothing more than hiding anti-LGBT bigotry behind religion, forced into law by small-minded people for whom tolerance is not an everyday virtue. They see that the courts have repeatedly said there's nothing wrong with same-sex marriage, and that so offends their sensibilities that they have lashed out with laws like this.

On my show today, I asked Professor Steve Sanders of the Indiana University Maurer School Of Law to explain how the law works, and whether the same discrimination could be applied to unmarried heterosexual couples or other groups the business person disapproves of. I also asked him how Indiana's RFRA differs from the versions passed by 19 other states (and the federal government), whether a religious exemption could also be applied to Muslims with strict religious beliefs, and whether the backlash from the public -- and especially the business community -- might change the minds of the GOP legislators and governor who passed the law (with no Democrat support).

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