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Huckabee!

Posted in Religious Liberty on: March 4th, 2014
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One thing that became very clear during the SB 1062 saga is that religious freedom cannot be taken for granted. The veto of this important bill is a wake up call not just to Arizonans but to all Americans who believe the government should not be able to force you to violate your sincerely held religious beliefs.

Last week, Governor Mike Huckabee flew CAP President Cathi Herrod out to New York to be a guest on his Fox News Channel show Huckabee to discuss the growing hostility towards people of faith, and share the truth about SB 1062, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and what CAP is doing and has done to protect religious liberty. Watch the clip:

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Continue reading Huckabee!

“All of us believe that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.”

Posted in Religious Liberty on: February 25th, 2014
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As CAP President Cathi Herrod said:

The attacks on SB 1062 show politics at its absolute worse. They represent precisely why so many people are sick of the modern political debate. Instead of having an honest discussion about the true meaning of religious liberty, opponents of the bill have hijacked this discussion through lies, personal attacks, and irresponsible reporting.

The truth about SB 1062 is much more simple. Please take a moment to read this letter sent to Governor Brewer from University of Virginia School of Law Professor Douglas Laycock and 10 other law professors, imploring the Governor to “make [her] decision on the basis of accurate information” and not on egregious misrepresentations made by critics.

The letter says:

 “Some of us are Republicans; some of us are Democrats. Some of us are religious; some of us are not. Some of us oppose same-sex marriage; some of us support it. Nine of the eleven signers of this letter believe that you should sign the bill; two are unsure. But all of us believe that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.”

Continue reading “All of us believe that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.”

Nothing but “Cover”

Posted in Religious Liberty on: November 20th, 2013
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Following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), some, including Arizona Senator John McCain, have pointed to the adoption of the amendment put forward by Senator Rob Portman as evidence that the religious exemption in the bill was “beefed up” or amended to more fully protect religious freedom under the bill. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Portman Amendment, available here (subsection (b) on pages 10-11), does nothing to expand the religious exemption under ENDA, and it merely says that those originally exempt under the bill (basically only churches) cannot be penalized by the government. The amendment does nothing to protect business owners and employers with sincerely held religious beliefs, and it is likely this amendment was a way for some senators to gain “cover” for voting yes for ENDA. As a sign that the Portman Amendment was meaningless, it was reported that LGBT advocates from the Human Rights Campaign as well as the ACLU quickly stated they did not oppose the amendment, saying that it was an unnecessary provision.

In contrast to the Portman Amendment, Senator Pat Toomey offered a much more meaningful amendment to expand the protections in the religious exemption, see Senator Toomey’s amendment here. Although Senators McCain and Flake both voted for the Toomey Amendment, after the amendment failed to be adopted, both Arizona Senators voted for the final passage of ENDA nonetheless.

One other important point: some have said that ENDA’s religious exemption can be strengthened in the House of Representatives, yet this seems highly unlikely. In fact, as an example of the growing disdain by some and lack of respect for religious liberty, backers of ENDA would prefer to completely eliminate the religious exemption, as this New York Times editorial says.

ENDA is bad public policy and threatens the religious freedom rights of every American.

Continue reading Nothing but “Cover”

Why it’s called the Bathroom Bill

Posted in Marriage & Family, Religious Liberty on: February 22nd, 2013
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Under the guise of “prohibiting discrimination” against people on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, The Phoenix City Council is considering an ordinance riddled with devastating legal and ethical consequences.

The Bathroom Bill presents a thinly veiled attack on Phoenix businesses. Fundamentally, the ordinance is a poorly crafted measure that promotes a “sue first and ask questions later” environment inevitably subjecting untold numbers of businesses to frivolous lawsuits, regardless of their stance on homosexuality. In other cities across the country with similar laws, the Bathroom Bill has forced businesses to allow a man dressed as a woman into their women’s restroom.

The exemption for churches within the Bathroom Bill is weak at best and would not protect churches from being forced to hire a homosexual or transgender individual in non-pastoral roles. Also, the ordinance indirectly attempts to muzzle the pulpit, allowing transgender individuals to sue should they vaguely sense “a direct or indirect” implication that they might be “unwelcome.”

Look no further than Olympia, Washington to discover the consequences of laws like the Bathroom Bill. Late last year, when one Washington family complained that a 45-year-old male college student was permitted to enter a girls’ locker room and expose himself in front of their 17-year-old daughter, authorities informed them the man was allowed to be there because he claimed to be transgender.

“The locker room at Evergreen College in Olympia, Wash., is shared with the Capital High School swim club and a children’s swim academy, along with the students at Evergreen,” according to ABC News. Other parents noted that even 6-year-old children use the locker room on occasion and yet, compliance with state law similar to the Bathroom Bill prevents the college from addressing the situation.

Despite his commitment to transparency, Mayor Greg Stanton is rushing the Bathroom Bill through the process, and the vote is one week from today! Contact these members of the Phoenix City Council and tell them to vote no on the Bathroom Bill:

Thelda Williams: council.district.1@phoenix.gov, 602-262-7444
Vice Mayor Bill Gates: council.district.3@phoenix.gov, 602-262-7441
Daniel Valenzuela: council.district.5@phoenix.gov, 602-262-7446
Michael Nowakowski: council.district.7@phoenix.gov, 602-262-7492
Michael Johnson: council.district.8@phoenix.gov, 602-262-7493

Continue reading Why it’s called the Bathroom Bill

Religious Freedom Wins: Governor signs HB 2625

Posted in Religious Liberty on: May 12th, 2012
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Religious Freedom Wins: Governor signs HB 2625
Law protects religious employers from being forced being forced to violate their religious beliefs

PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer has signed HB 2625, which protects religious employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs by covering abortion-inducing drugs or contraception in their insurance plans.

The new law puts Arizona more in line with other states that do not have restrictive government mandates requiring coverage for these medications. (more…)

Continue reading Religious Freedom Wins: Governor signs HB 2625