Religious Freedom Bill Under Fire In Florida


In Florida, a bill that would guarantee business owners religious liberty is coming under fire just days after it was introduced in the legislature.

State representative Julia Gonzalez sponsored House Bill 101, which would guarantee the freedom to refuse to “produce, create or deliver a product or service” to business owners, other individuals, religious groups, and health care groups if by doing so it would violate their religious or moral beliefs.

Gonzalez told the Herald Tribune, “There have been various situations where there are increasing possibilities of subsections of society having their religious freedoms encroached on.  Over time it became obvious to me we need to adopt some statutory protections.”

Not surprisingly, LGBT activists say the bill amounts to protection of bigotry, one spokesman called the bill “plainly malicious and proudly discriminatory.”

If the measure is signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, the bill would be a stark contrast to those states and communities that have disallowed or drastically limited how and when socially conservative views on marriage can be expressed.

According to the Herald Tribune, the legislation would allow adoption agencies the freedom to decide who is best to adopt children, and businesses with five owners or less could decide with whom they wish to do business.

The measure is similar to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which caused an uproar in Indiana.  That state’s Republican governor was pressured into negating the law, and one business was temporarily shut down due to death threats.
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