Seeking to codify the anti-gay right’s alligator tears about preserving “religious freedoms” that didn’t exist in the first place into law, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has introduced a bill to create a special right for wingnut-Americans to discriminate against LGBT people:
Several Republican Senators have introduced their own version of the House’s so-called “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act,” introduced in September by Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), which guarantees that businesses and even government employees can refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage and discriminate against anybody who engages in premarital sex.
According to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), the bill’s sponsor, the issue at hand is “respect” for Christians’ “religious liberty”:
LEE: This bill protects the rights of individuals and organizations from religious discrimination by the federal government. Those who believe in the traditional definition of marriage deserve respect and tolerance. It is critical that we clarify the law to ensure that their fundamental civil liberties are not at risk.
Another co-sponsor, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), believes that “religious freedom” is under attackby marriage equality:
VITTER: Religious freedom is a foundational principle to our great nation, and it’s something that Louisianians and folks across the country cherish — including the millions of Americans, like myself, who support traditional marriage. But, for a number of reasons, this basic freedom is under attack by the current administration. This bill will protect groups from administrative attacks, such as additional hurdles with taxes or obtaining federal grants or contracts.
Let’s take a moment of silence to let the fact that David “Diapers” Vitter continues to believe he is a champion of the American family sink in.
DDM at Wonkette explains what the Religious Right thinks “religious freedom” means:
And religious freedom means that if you are religious, you have the freedom to do whatever you want.
Yes, that really is what they think.
Think Progress explains what this bill would actually do (hint: it has nothing to do with protecting anyone’s religious freedom):
Rather than protecting religious freedom, these bills would force taxpayers to abide by one particular set of beliefs by subsidizing opposition to same-sex marriage or any sexual activity outside of marriage. The legislation appears to be a work-around now that the Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act — if it’s unconstitutional for the federal government to not recognize same-sex marriages, these lawmakers hope they can make it legal for individuals instead.
As ThinkProgress reported in September, the implications for this legislation are numerous, but could allow businesses to discriminate against employees with a same-sex spouse, government officials to discriminate against same-sex couples filing their taxes jointly, or religiously affiliated hospitals discriminating against patients with same-sex spouses.
More from Wonkette, explaining what these wingnuts are really trying to protect themselves from:
[N]ow that gross same-sex couples are coming along and same-sexing all over the place, the government acts like they are real people who shouldn’t be discriminated against. And that’s fine for most people, but religious people are mandated by G-d to
own slaves deny women the right to vote keep the races separatebully gay people. And if a private business can’t fire someone for being gay, that is just like feeding them to the lions, EXCEPT WORSER!
Yes, they are simply working to make sure they don’t have to play by the rules, and they are damn pissed off that the rest of the country doesn’t view them as morally superior, simply because they exist. Just as they have in the past, fundamentalist religious types are deadset on being able to preserve their abilities to discriminate against whatever it is they hate, and just as it was in the past, we have to fight to make sure our American values of fairness, justice and equality are preserved. And just like they had to learn to live with desegregation and women’s liberation, they will simply have to learn to live with LGBT equality.
Don’t worry, fundies — our nation will always hold as sacrosanct your sacred right to complain about it as much as you want.