'We Think That Right Is a Fundamental Right and Ought to Be Respected'
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody that Christian cake bakers have "a fundamental right" to discriminate against same-sex couples and that right "ought to be respected."
Sessions did not use the word "discriminate," but rather, noted that there is more than one person or company in the business of baking cakes, and suggested same-sex couples should just go find a different one.
"I would just say to you that too often we have ignored what the Constitution actually says," Sessions told Brody in the interview which aired Wednesday afternoon on Facebook. "It says Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof. So the question is, the cake baker has more than just a personal view here," Sessions said onÂ CBNâ€™s Faith Nation.
"He has a religious view and he feels that he is not being able to freely exercise his religion by being required to participate in a ceremony in some fashion that he does not believe in," the Attorney General said, without questioning the beliefs of the hypothetical "Christian cake baker" â€“ a term theÂ Christian Broadcasting Network uses. CBN did not mention bakers of other faiths.
"So we think that right is a fundamental right and ought to be respected as we work through this process. Of course in the 1990â€™s we passed a Religious Freedom Restoration ActÂ that said the government should not constrict a personâ€™s religious belief without a compelling reason to do so. So we think that statute has been ignored too often and not respected sufficiently. And so when you consider those two things, then youâ€™re getting not only greater protection for peopleâ€™s religious beliefs, that I think should be given."
The Attorney General apparently does not understand the law. The Supreme Court has ruled the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)Â only applies to federal laws created by Congress that somehow infringe on religious liberty. There's no federal law requiring bakers to bake cakes for same-sex couples, so the RFRA law does not apply. All these "religious liberty" cases, including bakers, florists, and photographers, are in response to state, not federal law.
The clip is at CBN and the full show is embedded above. The relevant portion starts at about the -29:00 mark.
To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.
If you find NCRM valuable, would you please consider making a donation to support our independent journalism?