By Michael Stone
Feb 13, 2015
License to discriminate: The Republican controlled Indiana Senate has passed a measure that would allow employers to discriminate against gays and others who refuse to follow the religious tenets of their employer.
On Tuesday the Republican-controlled Senate voted 39-11 in favor of Senate Bill 127, which would allow recipients of state funds such as hospitals and universities to hire employees based on religious preference, and would also allow those employers to require employees to follow certain religious tenets.
All 10 Senate Democrats voted against the measure passed by the Republican majority. The measure now moves to the House.
Senate Bill 127, authored by Sen. Travis Holdman, would allow religious-affiliated organizations that receive state contracts — including hospitals, universities, and child service providers — to hire people based on their religion. The bill would also allow those organizations to require employees to follow particular religious tenets.
Defending his controversial bill, Holdman claims:
It’s not a legal license to discriminate, to be bigoted, to do all those things from the negative sense. It’s really just a carve-out that we have been practicing in the state of the Indiana already.
However, an outraged Sen. Karen Tallian, a Democrat, strenuously rejected the controversial measure, noting that the proposed legislation goes far beyond federal law, pointing out that the legislation says organizations can require employees or applicants to follow the religious tenets of that organization.
This is outrageous. How many tenets must you conform to? Do you have to go to church every Sunday? Can you eat meat on a Friday.
Talian goes on:
And how are these prospective employees supposed to decide or know what they have to conform to? Are they going to be given a list? Are they going to have to take religion classes?
Tallian and other critics of the controversial measure also point out that if signed into law the bill would leave the state open to lawsuits, and create numerous, expensive legal problems for the state to solve.
Religious institutions are free to hire who they like. However, once they accept taxpayer money in the form of state contracts they are and should be bound by the law that protects individuals from discrimination based on religion.
This legislation is yet another thinly veiled attempt by conservative Christian lawmakers to allow taxpayer money to support and enforce bigotry and discrimination against the LGBT community and others they find undesirable.
For the conservative Republican lawmaker “religious freedom” has become nothing but a lament for the “good old days” when they could with impunity intimidate and harass and discriminate against all those that dared to challenge their narrow and mean-spirited world view.
Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/02/indiana-senate-passes-bill-allowing-employers-to-discriminate-based-on-religion/#ixzz3RZxSvUFN