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Is This Just Plain Old Discriminaton?

Oct 16, 2019

[1] By Jocelyn Claire Young, Citizen Contributor

The LGBT Community is today faced with the possibility of losing some of the rights that they have gained over the past fifteen (15) to twenty (20) years. The challenge argued in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, was brought under the guise of “religious freedom”. The “religious freedom” challenges have been made because the people claiming “religious freedom” lost in their respective Circuit Courts of Appeal.

“Religious Freedom” has been defined, until recently, as being permitted to practice the religion of ones choice without governmental interference. Prior to the last presidential election there were rumblings of people being denied their “religious freedom” in several areas, abortion matters and dealing with the LGBT community to name two. Many laws have exemptions for religious organizations. This caused many to believe that their “religious freedom” had been denied if they could avoid the law altogether. This is the complete opposite of what the Founding Fathers believed “religious freedom” to be. Forcing ones religious values on another is contrary to “religious freedom”. The religious right in this country has created this fallacy of religious persecution. It wasn’t until this present Administration came into being that anyone forced the “religious freedom” into being. Anything for a vote!

The far right religious extremists in this country were the first ones to scream intolerance when the subject of Sharia Law was broached some years back. They screamed that it was unconstitutional. Now they are doing the same thing by foisting the Christian religion and their beliefs onto the general public. Religious beliefs have no place in the business community. Now this Administration has seen fit to include the religious right in the policy making and pander to them all in the name of votes.

John Adams stated that “[T]he Government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion.”[2] Thomas Jefferson stated that “I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.”[3]

The pending decision by SCOTUS has the potential of eradicating the past twenty years, or so, of favorable Circuit Courts of Appeal decisions for the LGBT community. When it really comes down it the LGBT community is made of human beings who have the same wants and desires as everyone else. Those basic desires to loved and accepted for who they are should really have no bearing on an other persons religious freedom. Being LGBT does not prevent anyone from practicing their religion. Contrary to that the other persons religion should not have an impact on a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person for living their lives.

The rights that the LGBT community is seeking are not “special rights”. We do not want to be discriminated against for who we are. We want to be accepted for who we are and not treated any differently than other people.

[1] Social justice advocate, educator and writer

[2] The Treaty of Tripoli, the treaty was between the United States and Tripolitania, signed at
Tripoli on November 4, 1796 and signed, again, on January 3, 1787, at Algiers.

[3] Steven K. Green, Federalism and the Establishment Clause: A Reassessment, 38 L. Rev. 761, 773 (2005), Jefferson to Rev. Samuel Miller, January 23, 1808 in 5 The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 236-238 (H.A. Washington ed. 1853)

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