HB 300 and the Threat to Religious Liberty
The stated purpose of House Bill 300 is to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or sexual identity. Unfortunately, both the text of the bill and the actions of proponents of similar laws show that House Bill 300 is less about prohibiting discrimination and fostering tolerance, and more about forcing, at the point of the law’s sword, acceptance of the gay lifestyle.
The alleged religious exemption contained in House Bill 300 is wholly inadequate. True religion affects the whole being, not just behavior on Saturday or Sunday, and not just inside a church or synagogue. House Bill 300 would force believers to leave their convictions at the door, and by doing so, would force them to deny the truth of their religious beliefs, or face the consequences.
If you don’t believe me, ask Blaine Adamson, who was sued by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization in Lexington, Ky., because he declined to print promotional shirts for the Lexington Pride Festival, which were to be used to promote a message at odds with his religious beliefs. The fact that he referred the business to another printer at the same price, or that the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization was able to get the shirts printed by another printer for free, was not enough to induce this organization to withdraw its complaint, which is still pending.
Or consider the case of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a religious association affiliated with the Methodist Church. Despite the fact that the association had many years ago formally pledged to abstain from using its facilities in any way "inconsistent with the doctrines, discipline and usage of the Methodist Episcopal Church," the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights found that the association violated New Jersey’s anti-discrimination law for refusing to allow a same sex-civil union ceremony to be conducted at its facility.
Unfortunately, these examples are not isolated incidents, but part of a pattern of behavior designed to suppress the expression of any religious beliefs in opposition to the gay agenda.
Tolerance presupposes disagreement. Tolerance of the gay lifestyle by those holding traditional views presupposes disagreement with that lifestyle. Unfortunately, some in the gay rights movement are not interested in tolerance, but insist, often stridently, upon forcing moral and intellectual acceptance of their choices. For them, the entire point is to break down the opposition of religious views. In so doing, they are destroying true tolerance, and in the process, doing great damage to our civil discourse and to fundamental freedom and liberty.
One of the iconic traits of America has always been rugged independence. We have always been a country where each man or woman was free to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience. Over succeeding generations, much blood and treasure have been spent to ensure the survival of that inheritance. Now, under the guise of "anti-discrimination" laws, some Americans are attempting to force other Americans to act in violation of their consciences as they go about their business and engage in everyday life. So now, sadly, what a foreign enemy could never do to us, we are doing to ourselves.