Religious Freedom

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Equality Mississippi

Coalition of Miss. businesses want LGBT customers to know they’re welcome

Sunday, April 13, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- Following the Mississippi legislature's recent passage of a religious freedom bill that opponents say could lead to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays, businesses statewide have responded by displaying a decal informing LGBT customers that their business is welcome. [ Read more → ]

Mike Huckabee: ‘I’m not homophobic … this is the right side of the Bible’

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on Tuesday told an Iowa audience that he is not a hater, not homophobic, and is merely standing on the "right side of the Bible." [ Read more → ]
Elaine Huguenin

U.S. Supreme Court declines appeal over N.M. gay bias case

Monday, April 7, 2014
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from a studio that refused to photograph a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony, letting stand a New Mexico high court ruling that helped spur a national debate over gay rights and religious freedom. [ Read more → ]
Brennan Linsley, APMasterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips decorates a cake inside his store, in Lakewood, Colo. Phillips is appealing a recent ruling against him in a legal complaint filed with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission by a gay couple he refused to make a wedding cake for, based on his religious beliefs.

The clash over changing social mores: How a wedding cake became a cause

Saturday, April 5, 2014
The encounter at Jack Phillips' Masterpiece Cakeshop lasted less than a minute. Phillips stepped out from behind the counter in his small, pastry-crammed shop to meet customers Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins. They told him they wanted a cake to celebrate their own marriage... [ Read more → ]
Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.)

Miss. governor signs religious freedom bill that could allow anti-gay discrimination

Thursday, April 3, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Miss. approves religious freedom bill that could allow anti-gay discrimination

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi lawmakers on Tuesday passed the final version of a bill that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices, a measure that sparked debate about possible discrimination against gay people and other groups. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Miss. Senate sends religious freedom bill back to House as deadline looms

Friday, March 28, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi lawmakers could try to write a final version of a religious freedoms bill that has sparked concerns about anti-gay discrimination. [ Read more → ]

Supreme Court hearing on religious exemptions seems ‘deeply worrisome’

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
WASHINGTON -- Nobody spoke about recent efforts to circumvent laws protecting LGBT from discrimination by claiming religious motivations; nobody pointed out that people with religious objections to contraception often have religious objections to alternative insemination for lesbians and condom distribution for safe sex education. [ Read more → ]
Tennessee state capitol in Nashville.

Tenn. OKs religious freedom bill that could be a ‘license to bully’ gay students

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee state Senate on Monday passed a bill that seeks to expand religious liberty protections for students in public schools, a measure critics say could lead to hate speech against gays, and others, in public schools, all in the name of religion. [ Read more → ]
U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court to hear cases relating to employers’ religious beliefs

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases next week that test the degree to which employers may use their personal religious beliefs to deny certain health coverage for employees. Neither case involves any LGBT-related health coverage; but the decisions in both may affect whether employers will be able to cite religious beliefs to deny such services as alternative insemination and gender reassignment. [ Read more → ]
Ellen Rosenblum

Oregon AG certifies ballot title in proposed religious freedom initiative

Saturday, March 15, 2014
SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has issued a title for a proposed "religious freedom" ballot initiative, effective adopting wording sought by the initiative's opponents. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Miss. House approves dramatically altered ‘religious freedom’ bill

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi House vote 80 to 37 Wednesday evening to approve a dramatically altered “religious freedom” bill that simply calls for a joint House-Senate Judiciary committee to prepare a report “regarding proposed legislation that protects the religious freedoms of the citizens of the State of Mississippi.” The report is due December 31. [ Read more → ]
Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.)

Arizona governor’s staff worked on religious freedom bill with proponents

Monday, March 10, 2014
PHOENIX -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's staff worked with proponents of a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gays before the legislation was introduced in January, according to emails released by her office. [ Read more → ]

Miss. lawmakers feel pressure over proposed religious freedom bill

Friday, March 7, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. — Lawmakers in conservative Mississippi find themselves in a tug-of-war over a religious freedom bill that some say is uncomfortably similar to one recently vetoed by Arizona's Republican governor. [ Read more → ]
Kansas state capitol in Topeka.

Kansas delays further action on religious freedom protections until next year

Thursday, March 6, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Kansas lawmakers will not consider enacting new legal protections this year for those who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds, but will debate the issue again in 2015, the state Senate's top leader said Thursday. [ Read more → ]

Kansas reopens debate on religious freedom for those opposed to gay unions

Thursday, March 6, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Legislators are reopening a debate on whether Kansas should enact special legal protections for people, groups and businesses opposing same-sex marriage for religious reasons. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Miss. religious freedom bill renews debate on anti-LGBT discrimination

Thursday, March 6, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- A gay rights group is asking Mississippi legislators to specify that a religious-practices bill won't open the way for discrimination if it becomes law. [ Read more → ]

Focus on the Family: Gays blame Christians for their own emotional pain

Thursday, March 6, 2014
On the most recent “CitizenLink Report” from Focus on the Family, Stuart Shepard and Bruce Hausknecht defended the recently vetoed legal discrimination bill in Arizona as nothing more than “an otherwise ordinary bill” that was badly misrepresented by gay activists. [ Read more → ]

Miss. House panel advances religious freedom bill

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi House panel on Tuesday changed and passed a bill that says state and local government cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices. [ Read more → ]
Mississippi state capitol in Jackson.

Mississippi House panel faces deadline on religious freedom bill

Monday, March 3, 2014
JACKSON, Miss. -- A Mississippi House panel will decide Tuesday whether to kill a religious freedom bill or keep it alive with or without changes. [ Read more → ]
John Hanna, APIn this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 photo, Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas urges a crowd to work for the election defeat of socially conservative legislators during a rally at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.

Gay rights supporters in Kansas seek new anti-bias laws

Sunday, March 2, 2014
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Having won a key legislative fight with social conservatives in Kansas, gay rights advocates aren't content with simply blocking a measure they said would have encouraged businesses and government workers to refuse to serve gays and lesbians in the name of religious freedom. [ Read more → ]

The defenseless religious folk and their war against the ‘godless gays’

Sunday, March 2, 2014
Most recently, I’m finding it unusually difficult to avoid the urge to scream at the seemingly endless parade of pundits and spin doctors tell me, in their most deferential and conciliatory tones, that the rash of proposed "religious protection" laws are not about discrimination. Oh heavens no! They're really just there to protect defenseless religious folk from the godless gays. Like innocent business owners, who could be accused of discrimination, just for standing behind their deeply held religious views. [ Read more → ]

If I knew you were coming, I would have baked a cake…

Saturday, March 1, 2014
I’m always touched when people of faith send their love and compassion my way… These people – these Christians – What are they so afraid of and why are they so very hateful? This picture of the cake and all the other pictures and blogs and outrage since Governor Jan Brewer vetoed that hateful bill in Arizona isn’t about “freedom of religion” – but you know that, right? [ Read more → ]
Alex Brandon, AP

Religious freedom bills: The latest effort to counter advances in marriage equality

Friday, February 28, 2014
WASHINGTON – Religious freedom bills in more than a dozen state legislatures this year mark the latest effort by opponents of same-sex marriage to counter the growing public acceptance of marriage equality, and the momentum of federal court rulings striking down state gay marriage bans. [ Read more → ]
Ross D. Franklin,    APWith the Arizona Capitol in the background, gay rights supporters Rachel Butas, right, and Jo Jo Halko kiss after the two learn that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announces she has vetoed SB1062, a bill designed to give added protection from lawsuits to people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, in Phoenix.

How Corporate America forced the veto of Arizona’s anti-gay bill

Thursday, February 27, 2014
When an important social issue intersected with business in Arizona, Corporate America decided it was time to take a stand. Voicing concern for their employees, customers and bottom lines, prominent companies from American Airlines to Verizon used threats of reduced business to help convince Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto legislation that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gays based on the owner's religious beliefs. [ Read more → ]
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