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ACLU Abandons Religious Freedom to Side With Gay Marriage

Joey Ramone-cc

John Burger - published on 07/01/15 - updated on 06/08/17

Melling called on Congress to amend the RFRA "so that it cannot be used as a defense for discrimination." But a year ago, at least one commentator was calling not for an amendment of the act but a repeal of it. Katha Pollitt wrote in
The Nation

It’s clear that the main beneficiaries of RFRA are the Christian right and other religious conservatives. RFRA has given us the Hobby Lobby decision permitting religious employers to decide what kind of birth control, if any, their insurance plans will provide. It’s given us “conscience clauses,” in which medical personnel can refuse to provide women with legal medical services—culminating in the truly absurd case of Sara Hellwege, an anti-choice nurse-midwife who is suing a federally funded family planning clinic in Tampa for religious discrimination because it declined to hire her after she said she would refuse to prescribe “abortifacient contraceptives,” i.e., birth control pills.

The public interest law firm Alliance Defending Freedom denies that RFRA has ever been used to discriminate against homosexuals. Joshua Tijerina, an ADF spokesman, wrote, for example, about
 Barronelle Stutzman, a florist who willingly served a gay friend, Rob Ingersoll, and his partner for nearly 10 years:

She arranged flowers that the couple sent to one another for birthdays and other occasions. In one very specific instance, when Rob asked her to design the flowers for his same-sex wedding, Barronelle gently told him that because of what her faith teaches her about marriage she could not use her artistic talents to celebrate a same-sex wedding, and she kindly referred him to other florists who she knew would do a good job for him. Does that mean that she was turning LGBT people away at the door and not serving them? Absolutely not, did not happen, and again, she served the same-sex couple for years and she and Rob counted each other as friends.

John Burger is news editor for Aleteia’s English edition.
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