Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Catholic News Agency fractures the news

Kevin J. Jones
According to Kevin J. Jones at Catholic News Agency: “Leaked e-mails show DNC meetings with anti-religious freedom project.” That sounds rather sinister, possibly evil or even demonic. It turns out that this involves email from Mike Gehrke, vice president of the Benenson Strategy Group to the DNC's deputy communications director and national press secretary. As Jones writes:
Gehrke said his colleague Amy Levin has been working with the Movement Advancement Project “over the past couple years” to develop “messaging and creative executions around religious exemptions laws” such as Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.
Once again a Christian has dishonestly asserted that Religious Freedom™ requires the ability to legally discriminate against LGBT citizens in public accommodations, housing and employment. Religious Freedom Restoration acts that mirror the federal law do not pose a problem for equality. However, Alliance Defending Freedom has bastardized the federal law with boilerplate that creates a license to discriminate for any person or entity that does not approve of gay people. At the state level they also nullify any municipal nondiscrimination ordinances in effect.

The tactic that ADF has employed (and is likely to employ this fall) is to offer two bills simultaneously. The first is the seemingly harmless Pastor Protection Act and then a RFRA. The notion that pastors require some protection that does not already exist in the First Amendment is dishonest. What then happens (and this is all choreographed) is sponsors combine the two bills so that the Pastor Protection Act becomes a nasty anti-LGBT piece of legislation.

So yes, Movement Advancement Project and other organizations are seeking (and will continue to seek) solutions to legislation that deprives LGBT citizens of Equal Protection. So we have a message for Mr. Jones and the Church. As a community we demand and expect national nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. Our fight will not end until that goal is achieved.

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