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This is the first of what I think will be three diaries that directly resulted from my experience at NN 14. Religious exemptions was identified as one of the five major post-marriage issues for the LGBT community at the LGBT Caucus, and it seemed to be the one on which I could do the most good. My mission for the foreseeable future is going to be finding every law that contains an exemption that goes beyond the one preserved by Executive Order 11478, the Bush formula

that allows religiously affiliated contractors to favor employees of a certain religion in making hiring decisions.
The history of that exemption, and of the effort to navigate a passage between the shoals of the First and the Fourteenth Amendments, as a necessary background for this effort, follows.

Why focus on religious exemptions? they have become the way that the so-called religious right protests marriage equality. As Adam Serwer wrote in February,

The Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act last summer set off a chain reaction of federal judges ruling state bans on same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional. But at the same time that same-sex marriage rights appear to be advancing, conservative legislators in more than a dozen states have been pushing for exceptions that would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians in the name of religious freedom.
It's the next frontier, and a clear indication that even if the state bans of same-sex marriage are eliminated at the end of the next Supreme Court session, the opposition won't go away, it will just use different language. That language has already been developed in the form of a First Amendment rights claim, most recently accepted in the Hobby Lobby case.

Why? This section will be deeply indebted to a relatively new book by Michael Bronski, Ann Pellegrini and Michael Amico, "You Can tell Just By Looking" and 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People (2013), which has a chapter called "Myth 11. Gay Rights Infringe on Religious Liberty." That's the underlying basis for religious exemptions, after all, perhaps even an update of the "ick" factor by grounding it in a religious context to explain it. As the writers note, it's a misunderstanding of what "religious liberty" means in practice:

Religious liberty in the United States means that citizens can hold and express differing beliefs. It also means they have the freedom to practice those beliefs. [The idea that we're expected to reconcile our political differences on issues] like the moral status of homosexuality . . . gives us an inaccurate picture of what democracy and religious freedom would be [because] the purpose of democracy is to allow, even foster, disagreement.
Yes, this is about the idea that one version of [Christian] belief should (remember the Puritans?) take precedence over all other opinions. And it's not just fundamental Protestants, because the Catholic Church was involved in a challenge to the adoption of children by same-sex couples.

The adoption case raises an important issue in all this: Catholic Charities is licensed by states to provide adoption services using public money to fund this effort, and three states (Illinois, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia) bar government contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. If catholic Charities was allowed to discriminate in this manner by ignoring the law, these states would be subsidizing a religious viewpoint, and that falls afoul of the First Amendment by establishing a religion in exactly the way a state-written school prayer would.

Unfortunately, this camel already has its nose under the government tent, because the first conscience clause -- and almost every state has one -- was written in the wake of Roe v Wade in 1973. According to the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan research institute concentrating on bioethics, these conscience clauses are used by health care providers and by parents who oppose immunization, but that this practice is troubling:

Because physicians and other health care providers recognize a duty not to abandon patients, conscientious objection policies may specify that a professional who has invoked the right to refuse to provide a service must not interfere with the patient’s ability to obtain it elsewhere. This specification recognizes that it is professionally inappropriate for health care providers who step away from services to then step between a patient and another health care provider, whether by refusing to cooperate with the transfer of a patient’s care, refusing to make a referral, or making a patient feel uncomfortable or ashamed about seeking health care.
This is also true given the "special vulnerabilty" of children, which the Hastings center says is no different from any other refusal despite the "special" status a beliefs claim gives it.

State laws? Bronski, Pellegrini and Amato:

Many legal scholars argue that privileging religious motives over other reasons for acting in particular ways constitutes a tacit endorsement of religion, in violation of the principles of disestablishment . . . [T]hese exemptions are not only unfair, they essentially do an end run around the thorny but necessary business of living side by side with people whose moral views and life practices are different from our own.
No, the state cannot and SHOULD not force any religious organization to sanctify a marriage that runs counter to its beliefs but that's why we have civil marriage. They also note that religious exemptions have also been used, famously by Bob Jones University, to justify racial discrimination, and that the Supreme Court (William Rehnquist dissenting) concluded religious beliefs couldn't be used as a blank check for discrimination.

Most importantly, Bronski, Pellegrini and Amato argue that LGBT rights are a matter of religious freedom as well, given the beliefs of liberal religious organizations like the Unitarian-Universalist Church. I'd also point out that the Fourteenth Amendment claim of equal protection, written to make sure that the new freedmen has a club to use against attempts to force them back into slavery after the Civil War, is another guarantee of LGBT rights, and it has been used as such in many of the post-Windsor opinions that support the idea of marriage equality. As Judge Henry Floyd wrote for the Fourth Circuit in overturning Virginia's ban on same-sex marriages,

The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.
All this is why we have to be extremely vigilant in the face of the attempts of various states to pass laws that would allow discrimination against the LGBT community in the name of religious freedom. At this point, Mississippi has a fairly weak law, and conservative groups in Oregon are trying to get such a measure on the November ballot. As far as I know, the Mississippi law hasn't been challenged in court yet, but business owners and LGBT rights advocates are fighting it on the grassroots level.

Originally posted to LGBT Rights are Human Rights on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 12:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by The First and The Fourth, American Sharia, and Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is going to be an ongoing debate (10+ / 0-)

    for sometime to come. This legal argument by the religious right is not just being used in term of LGBT rights but also women's issues with reproductive health care. It is basically an attempt to use the constitution as a last redout to defend the traditional privileges embodied in the conservative religious patriarchy.

    The Hobby Lobby decision makes it pretty clear that it can find a sympathetic hearing at SCOTUS.

    •  Very true (9+ / 0-)

      I'm planning to monitor any new attempts to get a Hobby Lobby-type exemption on other issues (like the Missisissippi law). It will of course be interesting to see how this plays out, and yes, this is also all about the American Sharia.

      All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:10:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  First Amendment to get around anti-establishment (0+ / 0-)

      They are arguing that their First Amendment rights for freedom of religion trumps anyone else's rights.   Its not new.  They have to re-write a lot of old law:  Scalia their opinions.   Gary North, a Calvinist, wrote about the strategy in The Failure of the American Baptist Culture.   (FYI, North's group also explains that the Bible contains no Right to Life and the whole thing is a ruse designed to create a theocracy.)

      Here is a real life example I found out Crisis Magazine, a Catholic magazine with real life professors writing in it

      1) A Catholic photographer refuses to photograph a gay marriage (A boycott!) based on his deeply held religious principals.

      2)  The local gay community outs the behavior and many boycott his store.

      3)   The retaliatory boycott is, according to the Catholics, a "Crisis" and a persecution for their religious beliefs.

      So a Catholic can say "FU" to a gay (or other non-Catholic I suppose) but you cannot say FU back.  I guess you should also hope they do not hit you.  

      “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

      by MugWumpBlues on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 11:53:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  trying to codify 'Freedom FROM Religion' (4+ / 0-)

    And the SCOTUS is firmly (at least as firm as 5-4 can be) keeping the door shut against it.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:17:38 PM PDT

    •  Where does the Constitution say anyone has the (0+ / 0-)

      right to be "free from" someone else's religious beliefs?

      The Constitution says we all have the right of "free exercise" of our own religious beliefs.  That's not limited to our own homes.  If Fundamentalist owns a restaurant, and wants to put pictures of Jesus on the cross all over it, that's his right.  If you choose to come into that restaurant, he can't refuse to serve you under the Civil Rights laws.  You don't, however, have some "right' to be "free from" his religious beliefs -- they are right there, staring you in the face.  He can even have his servers say "Praise god" after every sentence.  He can refuse to serve food that violates his religious beliefs.  

      The GOVERNMENT can't express any particular religious beliefs.  That doesn't mean that we all have the right to be "free from" the religious beliefs of others.  As long as we have interactions with others who have a constitutional right to the free exercise of their religion, the government cannot guarantee that we will be "free from" someone else's religious beliefs.  

      •  And yet as an employee of a 'closely held' company (4+ / 0-)

        I have to kowtow to whatever bizarre or exotic hypocritical beliefs that said owners may have ... that I may not enjoy all of my rights because the existence of my rights imposes somehow upon their beliefs..

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        —Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:50:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What "rights" of yours? (0+ / 0-)

          You have no right to be "free from" the religious beliefs of the owners of a closely held corporation.  For example, if you are an atheist and the owner of a restaurant is a Fundamentalist and he calls his restaurant "Dinner with Jesus," the owner can  put pictures of Jesus all over and make the uniform of servers a T shirt with a huge picture of Jesus.  You have no "right" to say, I'm an atheist (or a Muslim or Jew) and so I have a right to work here without looking at your pictures or wearing your uniform.  The owner can't refuse to hire you because of your religion.  But if the owner doesn't ask your religion (as most employers don't ask religion) and hires you, you can't then insist you have a right to be "free from" his religious beliefs.  

          If you are talking about Hobby Lobby, the "rights" of women employees to have their employer pay for four types of contraception was not at issue.  The area of disagreement was whether RFRA protected a closely-held for-profit corporation in the same way that it protected a nonprofit religious corporation.  There was no dispute that RFRA protected a nonprofit religious corporation.  The Administration and the dissent both agreed as to that.  

      •  lawful assembly (4+ / 0-)

        It says in the 1st Amendment that people have the right to lawful assembly.  And that means, IMO, that the government has the obligation to protect the people who are lawfully assembling.

        Since 1850, most state's enacted the Field's Code, a codification of English common law.  

        California Civil Code Section 3514. Restriction on use of rights

        One must so use his own rights as not to infringe upon the rights of another.

        Enacted Stats 1872.  Historical Derivation: New York’s Field Code (1850)


        “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

        by MugWumpBlues on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:23:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No establishment of religion, not one (3+ / 0-)

        over the other, and not any over lack thereof. Hence no religious test for holding office.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:07:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The way to reconcile the two seems pretty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, VClib

    obvious to me.  

    Government must not discriminate or favor one religious belief over another.  Therefore, for civil marriage (which, after all, is nothing more than a shorthand legal contract between two adults with certain legal ramifications) any two consenting adults must be given the same treatment as any other two consenting adults.  I would also prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in workplaces (with the exception of religious nonprofit workplaces, who ought to be able to prefer hiring people who conform to their religious beliefs).

    On the other hand, I firmly believe in the First Amendment right of individuals to act in accordance with their own religious beliefs in all aspects of their lives, and that includes their commercial life.  The one caveat is that their actions cannot cause physical or economic injury to another.  The Civil Rights laws, for example, were justified because Congress had a basis in the Congressional Record demonstrating that, because of racial discrimination, African Americans were effectively precluded from interstate commerce.  (See, for example, the Heart of Atlanta Motel case.)

    How that plays out is pretty simple.  A place of public accommodation, such as a store or a restaurant, can't discriminate.  It can't refuse to sell products to someone because that person is LGBT.  However, I think that when it comes to personal services (even when those services are being rendered through a closely held corporation as most small businesses are), I think a person has a right to refuse to take a job, or refuse to take work, when that person believes it will violate his/her religion.  Unless there's simply no alternative available (as in the Heart of Atlanta case, where the evidence was that African Americans were cut out of all hotels/motels for hundreds of miles and therefore were effectively cut out of travel), then a person licensed to perform weddings, or a florist, or a photographer has a right to refuse to take a job that requires him to be part of a ceremony that violates his religious beliefs.  Unless there's evidence (like in Heart of Atlanta Motel) that the person seeking the services is effectively cut out of commerce, then one person turning down the offer of a job does not economically or physically harm another.  

    That's the basic premise I would go by.  We all have a right not to be harmed economically or physically by someone else's religious beliefs.  However, none of us have the right  to be protected from being offended by someone else's exercise of their religious beliefs, any more than we have the right to be protected from being offended by someone else's speech.  

    The same would go for pharmacies deciding what products they will, or will not, sell.  If a pharmacy can decide not to sell Prescription A for a business reason (because it's too expensive to get, because there's not enough demand, whatever) I see no reason that he cannot decide not to sell Prescription B for a religious reason.  He simply would be required to say, as in any case where a pharmacy doesn't carry the product I'm looking for, "we don't carry that here.  Try this pharmacy."

    For hiring, a secular employer needs to observe the civil rights rules.   All of them.  Period.  

    But a nonprofit, religiously-affiliated entity like Catholic Charities ought to be able to hire people that it believes conforms to its fundamental teachings.  Catholic Charities ought not to be forced to hire someone -- especially for a position where a person deals with the public on behalf of Catholic Charities --  who, for example, is an atheist who goes on protests or writes articles or puts videos on the Internet denigrating all religions as mindless superstitions.  

    As for government contracts, I think there's a limit to what the government can impose on contractors.  The government buys a product or service from contractors, and ought to be able to impose specifications to make sure it's getting the product or service it bargained for.  That does not involve assuring that a nonprofit religious entity violates its religious beliefs because the government does not approve of that religious belief. And the same "no economic or physical harm" rule would apply when the government is contracting with a religious nonprofit, for example, to providing housing for the homeless.  The religious nonprofit ought to be able to do that in accordance with its religious beliefs.  But along with that, the religious nonprofit entity should be one option -- not the only option -- available to people who need help.  

    That's how I would resolve things.  On issues of religious belief, I'm firmly in the camp of  Thomas Jefferson:

    But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
    As long as you don't physically injure me or take my money, you have the right to believe whatever you like as a religious matter, even if you believe that I am a horrible sinful person who is going straight to hell and even if you don't want to associate with me, or take a job from me, because of that.  
    •  It's so nice to have the benefit (6+ / 0-)

      of a medieval perspective.

      Non-profit religious corporations that accept government funding don't get to claim religious exemptions in performing public services. If you want to be a bigot, you can pay for it out of your own pocket.

      •  In my view, you have it backward. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep, VClib

        The government does NOT get to act primarily on the belief that a religious view is wrong or bigoted.  Absolutely.  Positively.  If the primary reason for a law, or a regulation, or an executive order, is because "that religious view is bigoted and you shouldn't be able to be a bigot," then that law, or regulation, or executive order, is almost per se unconstitutional.  Government CANNOT pass judgment on the propriety of religious views.  Government CANNOT impose a law, regulation, or executive order for the primary purpose of stifling an unpopular religious belief.  

        If the government chooses to contract with a religious entity, it takes the religious entity as it finds that entity.  It is unconstitutional for the government to condition a government benefit on a religious entity agreeing to violate its religious views.  

        The government certainly CAN decide that it will NOT contract with religious entities to perform public services.  That's perfectly fine and constitutional.  But once the government does decide to contract with religious entities, it cannot make a condition that the religious entity violate a religious belief because the government doesn't like that religious belief.  

        Before you call me "medieval" again, remember, my opinion that a religious nonprofit has the right to the free exercise of its religious beliefs is in accord with the position of the Administration, and the dissent, in Hobby Lobby.  Everyone in that case recognized the rights of a religious nonprofit to act in accordance with the religious beliefs of that organization.  The ONLY disagreement in Hobby Lobby was whether a FOR PROFIT corporation had those rights.  

        •  The Hobby Lobby decision (4+ / 0-)

          was pretending that the accommodations which the administration had voluntarily offered to non-profits were a workable and less restrictive alternative. That is not a recognition of an absolute right.  Three days later they pulled the rug out from under that arrangement. The whole thing is a judicial farce.

          •  I'll be more specific. From Justice Ginsburg's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            dissent at page 14 - 15:  

            The First Amendment's Free Exercise protections, the Court has indeed recognized, shelter churches and other nonprofit religious-based organizations.
            You may not LIKE that a religious non-profit organization has Constitutional protection for the free exercise of views you consider "bigoted."  But there's no question that they DO enjoy First Amendment protection for those views you consider "bigoted."  

            The First Amendment protects views that the majority of people find horrible in the same way it protects views that the majority of people like.    

            •  It protects the views. (6+ / 0-)

              It does not protect imposing them on other people.

              •  Wrong again. It protects not just the views, but (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                the FREE EXERCISE of the views -- i.e., the right to act on those views.

                And nothing in the Free Exercise clause limits it to situations when nobody else is around.  

                In fact, Justice Ginsburg cites the following as instances where Congress recognized this right to Free Exercise:

                42 U. S. C. §2000e–1(a) (Title VII exemption from prohibition against employment discrimination based on religion for “a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work  connected with the carrying on . . . of its activities”); 42 U. S. C. §12113(d)(1) (parallel exemption in Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990).
            •  Within the group (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dave in Northridge, skrekk

              That's things are inside a religious group.   All the people in the group agree that's how the group works.

              You join a chess club.  You pay $40 a year for membership dues.  No talking during a tournament game.

              Can a non-member come in and talk during the tournament?

              If the trespasser comes in, interrupts the games, can the chess club members call the cops to get rid of them?

              Why not then a religious group?

              Seems to me a key difference is if the religious group tries to go outside its group and enforce its rules--usually couched as morality--on others.

              For secular groups, the Field's code was interpreted to mean an employer could not impose the employer's beliefs on its employees.

              But a business is different situation, a different form of group--a secular one-- than a religious group, organized as a Church, and whose members share mostly the same beliefs.

              “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

              by MugWumpBlues on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:30:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  What is a religious belief? (3+ / 0-)

          Is a religious belief whatever the person or entity asserting it claims it is? Or is some further test required?

          I can assert for example that it against my "firmly held religious beliefs" to have to be at work from 9 to 5 on weekdays. Do I get an exemption on that basis? Can I arrive and depart whenever I please and assert that any restriction on that is an imposition on my religion? Or do I have to provide some sort of textual justification? And if I do how is the court to assess the validity of that text?

          •  The Supreme Court has developed a test for that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sfbob, VClib

            it was used during the Vietnam War, to distinguish those who had a sincerely held religious belief against all wars from those who were claiming a religious belief to get out of the draft.  See for example here.

            An ACLU discussion of the concept is here.

            Under those tests, there's pretty much no question that adherents to certain religions hold a "sincerely held religious belief" that (for example) same-sex relationships are wrong or sinful.  And because it would meet that test, it is entitled to Constitutional protection, no matter how wrong others think that belief is.  Government cannot constitutionally be in the business of determining which religious beliefs are right or wrong.  

          •  A religion is anything the religionista (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dave in Northridge

            claiming special treatment decides to claim it is, That is pretty well established in US law. Many have been started and organized solely as hate groups. In many others, hating and hatemongering is, instead, a means to an end, but in neither case is it or anything else a bar to being a religion or church. The principal rare exception is where the church violates the inurement provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, in which case, it will not be treated as a religion or church for some purposes of taxation, though it might still be so treated for other purposes such as practicing bigotry in hiring, spreading hate and other such behavior.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:34:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  While the government cannot place a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dave in Northridge

          restriction on the actions and behavior of hate based organizations on the sole grounds that they are hate based organizations, it likewise has no authority to require anybody else to be subject to the hate based behavior of said hate based organizations. As a result, it cannot, n any way contract with any such organization to provide goods and services to the public or otherwise interact with the public in any way.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:20:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  reasonable as far as it goes, but times have... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave in Northridge

      .... changed, and religion has become the basis for real conflicts in the workplace.

      Ordinarily we are accustomed to living in a society in which differences between an employer's and an employee's respective religions don't come into conflict.  One might think the other a sinner or a fool, but on their days off, each goes to their respective houses of worship (or atheist meetings as the case may be).  Under the value of civil behavior and basic manners, neither seeks to impose upon the other.

      That paradigm is broken by aggressive fundamentalism, which does not "live and let live" but seeks to "conquer."  At that point the employer tries to dictate what the employee may spend their earned compensation for (health insurance benefits), and the employee tries to dictate what products and services the employer will provide to customers (pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions, grocery clerks refusing to check out alcohol beverages).

      None of this would be a problem but for a small but vociferous slice of the religious spectrum, that has a version in every tradition, that believes it has an absolute right to impose its views on others, including through force of law and through physical force.  

      This is analogous to the classic problem of "can citizens in a democracy vote to establish a permanent dictatorship?"  Clearly the answer has to be No, because doing so would be a one-way route that robs subsequent generations of their own rights to choose.

      The paradox only arises because the system in question: fundamentalism or dictatorship, is absolutist and seeks to take something that is not theirs, whether the claim of others to their own religious/philosophical belief, or the claim of future voters to choose their own government.

      Take the fundamentalism out of the equation and we're back to status quo ante of "live and let live."

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:49:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would contend that said "status quo" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, blueoasis

        has never existed.

        Take the fundamentalism out of the equation and we're back to status quo ante of "live and let live."
        We've hadblue laws of every conceivable type since the first colonists set foot on this place, and from time immemmorial in the lands from whence they came.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:38:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, I'll concede that point. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, enhydra lutris

          Laws against what people do in bed, and "marihuana" prohibition with its obvious racist roots, and and and.  Most of it based on puritanism or Calvinism, which in turn are also religious aggression against others.  

          The worst of it being the genocide of the First Nations peoples and the enslavement of African peoples, all with the official and lawful blessings of the Almighty.

          But there was a time during the 70s and 80s when it seemed, at least in the Northeast (yeah I know) that people just got along better.  Now it's as if the entire society is degenerating into a Hobbesian war of all against all.  

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 08:31:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Anybody hiding behind a close (0+ / 0-)

      should lose the benefit of that shield if they demand that it be breached in order to grant the corporation rights that inhere only in individuals. If GM doesn't have a right, then a close corp shouldn't either unless it is willing to be treated as a general partnership with respect to liabilities, taxation, torts and all other legal matters.

      Something about having and eating one's cake, as it were.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:12:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All these hate based activities you would (0+ / 0-)

      condone do non-economic harm. Last I looked, there is nothing in the constitution about interpreting it and all laws in a purely monetary fashion.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:16:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republished to Street Prophets. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge
  •  The danger of going with "religious exemptions" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, Ahianne

    Is that the court has now created a situation where it will be up to a court to make determinations on the validity of religious beliefs and of the sincerity with which those beliefs are held.

    We are stuck with the idea that either the assertion of a religious belief constitutes the end of the conversation regardless of how credible or incredible the claim of "it's against my religious beliefs" might be or else whenever such a claim is asserted it will be necessary (assuming someone objects) to establish just how central to religious belief some claimed "violation" may be.

    Even pace Hobby Lobby, I would defy ANYONE to provide line in the Old or New Testament wherein the practice of abortion is prohibited by commandment from the Almighty. We will now be in the position of having to listen to dueling Biblical experts fight over that sort of thing out in courts of law.

  •  We can start by using honest language, (5+ / 0-)

    and call this hate.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 04:01:03 PM PDT

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