Thursday, November 14, 2019

Dangerous Ohio Legislation Literally Redefines the First Amendment

Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio is likely to sign a measure into law that would license anti-LGBTQ harassment and bullying in the state's public schools.
via Toledo BladeOptions
The Ohio House of Representatives has approved House Bill 164, titled “Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act of 2019” by a vote of 61 to 31.

The applicable part of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…
According to HB-164:
No board of education of a school district shall adopt any policy or rule respecting or promoting an establishment of religion or prohibiting any pupil from the free, individual, and voluntary exercise or expression of the pupil's religious beliefs in any primary or secondary school.
Free Exercise pertains to beliefs. Ohio is now redefining that to include conduct.

It is the “expression” part that concerns me. That could license many forms of anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment. Republicans have a trifecta of control in Ohio. Both houses of the legislature are controlled by Republicans and Governor Mike DeWine is a Republican. DeWine strongly opposed same-sex marriage.

This measure is going to be enacted. Perhaps it will be challenged in the courts.

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