• Source: YouTube
  • This Lawmaker And Evangelical Pastor Just Got His Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill Passed

    Likely Unconstitutional, State Rep. Says Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel And Alliance Defending Freedom Will Defend State In All Lawsuits

    Monday night the South Dakota House passed a bill that extends special protections to anyone – person or company, corporation, non-profit, club, with few exceptions – opposed to same-sex marriage or LGBT people in general, if they cite their "sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction." HB 1107 is sponsored by GOP State Representative Scott Craig, a virulently anti-gay evangelical pastor.

    Here's Rep. Craig in 2010 preaching to his congregation, calling LGBT people "the perverse."

    Craig's HB 1107, in part, states:

    Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the state may not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that the person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that:

    (1) Marriage is or should only be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;

    (2) Sexual relations are properly reserved to marriage; or

    (3) The terms male or man and female or woman refer to distinct and immutable biological sexes that are determined by anatomy and genetics by the time of birth. 

    The bill, according to the ACLU of South Dakota, passed by a vote of 46-10:

    "This bill could allow taxpayer funded discrimination and would allow state contractors who provide vital social services - such as homeless shelters - to turn away LGBT people. This bill will now head on to the Senate," the ACLU of South Dakota says.

    Rep. Scott's campaign website says he is a founding board member of the Family Heritage Alliance, "a family and conservative values advocacy group focused on promoting and defending faith, family, and freedom."

    During Monday's debate, Rep. Craig shared his thoughts on the bill.

    "The real victims of intolerance and discrimination in our day are those who conduct their lives according to a belief regarding marriage and human sexuality," rep. Craig said. "Our founding fathers never intended erotic freedom to trump religious freedom."

    Apparently, the debate Monday before the vote was rather heated, as these tweets via the Policy Director of the ACLU of SD show:

    But if South Dakota residents are concerned that the legislation is unconstitutional (it is,) and that, if challenged in court it could cost taxpayers a small fortune (it could,) at least they can rest assured that the very anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel will defend them, presumably pro-bono – at least according to Pastor/Rep. Scott:

    Which begs the question, who wrote the legislation, and why would anyone in advance of a vote obtain legal counsel to defend the state should it go to court?

    The ADF is the group of Christian attorneys representing Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman, who could have settled her discrimination case for $1000, but chose to become a martyr. Liberty Counsel of course is Kim Davis' group of attorneys, including Mat Staver.

    By the way, here's Rep. Craig wholly misleading an audience he spoke to last month about one of his religious freedom bills, claiming it "mirrors" the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The convenient fact most anti-gay religious activists omit is the federal statute does not include most corporations. But facts are messy, right, Rep. Craig?


    Image: Screenshot via YouTube

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    • commented 2016-02-10 12:30:59 -0500
      Rep. Hunt seems to be very ignorant about Canada. Gay marriage has been legal here since 2005, gays are protected under Human Rights Laws and serve openly and proudly in the military. And the Premier of our largest Province Ontario is a lesbian. As a Canadian I know that the gay community is not at war here with anybody. And our Federal Liberal Government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is very gay friendly and supportive. So there is no reason to go to war with anybody.

    • commented 2016-02-10 00:40:40 -0500
      And false prophets shall rise. I think some slugs are missing souls and being let loose from the basement of a dark smelly place. This is a very sick self serving slug.

    • commented 2016-02-09 21:40:33 -0500
      South Dakota does have a tourism industry. Mount Rushmore is in South Dakota, as are the Crazy Horse memorial, Badlands National Park, and the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which drew 3/4 of a million last year. There are lots of lesbian bikers.

      It’s interesting that the legislation protects only one viewpoint on the issue and not the opposing one. That makes it clearly unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.

    • commented 2016-02-09 18:54:59 -0500
      Wait, what? Canada?? All is peachy here thank you.

    • commented 2016-02-09 17:27:45 -0500
      It’s long overdue that the LGBT population form it’s own religion. Then we’ll see how many new religious freedom laws get passed by these Christian Terrorists.

    • commented 2016-02-09 17:10:50 -0500
      Where are all the big companies?! Why have the people not descended on them with boycott threats and info for the taxpayers who will be footing the bill for courts, judges and anyone paid from public funds to run the place? Free lawyers from one of the biggest losers of the century doesn’t sound all that great. These leaders don’t see how this is unconstitutional? I hope they loose all their tourist trade and businesses pull out left and right.

    • commented 2016-02-09 16:57:11 -0500
      I think it’s long overdue that LGBT people start a religion based on being LGBT – then let them Christian Terrorists pass religious freedom legislation.

    • commented 2016-02-09 16:56:12 -0500
      I think it’s long overdue that LGBT people start a religion based on being LGBT – then let them Christian Terrorists pass religious freedom legislation.

    • commented 2016-02-09 15:26:08 -0500
      I don’t think I have ever visited South Dakota. I certainly will not do so now. If they have a tourism business, I hope it suffers.

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