The House’s 72-49 vote Wednesday sends the measure to the Senate.
Supporters describe it as a religious freedom measure.
Opponents contend it will encourage discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The bill would bar government sanctions when individuals, groups and businesses cite religious beliefs in refusing to recognize a marriage or civil union, or to provide goods, services, accommodations or employment benefits to a couple. Anti-discrimination lawsuits also would be barred. Individual workers and government employees also would get some protections.
The measure is a response to the possibility that the federal courts could invalidate the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriages.
There’s a reason you don’t get to hang “Whites Only” signs above your business’s water fountains so long as you do it for religious reasons: because in America discrimination is against the law and your religion doesn’t earn you immunity to our laws. Bigotry is bigotry whether it wears a cross or not. The freedom to make second class citizens of other Americans is afforded to nobody in this country. The notion that this bill is to protect religious freedom is preposterous since religious people never had the right to ignore the laws they don’t like.
In that same vein, you don’t get to do “Straights Only” either if you want to run a business in America. Discrimination against gays is no different from discrimination against black people, and in neither case are you impervious to laws which prevent discrimination just because you’re a bigot for religious reasons. It’s not like it’s bad to discriminate because your parents drilled it into you but ok to discriminate if the bible drilled it into you. Being a racist/homophobe is no more special because you listened to the scribbles of an ancient people than for any other reason.