In case you’ve missed hateful and anti-LGBT laws in the news this week, Louisiana is moving forward with an even more extreme bill that actually targets same-sex marriage:
Red-State lawmakers are beginning to worry that the Supreme Court will strike down state marriage bans, leaving them without a legal way to convey to gays how much they disapprove of their love lives. So Louisiana State Rep. Mike Johnson, has decided to address the problem directly.
Rep. Johnson introduced the Marriage And Conscience Act last Friday, a bill that would allow anyone with an moral objection to same-sex marriage to refuse to serve them, religious conviction or not.
“This state shall not take any adverse action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about the institution of marriage.” reads the bill, which would apply not just to religious groups, but to all private employers. The bill also allows private employers to refuse spousal benefits to same-sex couples.”It would be a license to the private sector to refuse, for religious or moral reasons, to recognize same-sex marriages,” said Douglas Laycock, a constitutional law and religious liberty expert at the University of Virginia. “It covers not just churches and religious organizations, but also the for-profit sector, and with no limit on size or diversity of ownership.”
State Rep. Johnson insists his legislation has nothing in common with the religious freedom bills that drew national protests in Indiana and Arkansas. He told reporters his bill simply protects business owners from government retaliation based on their personal beliefs about marriage.
OK, then. Let’s see what happens with this “nothing in common with Indiana” law.