Maine rejects bill that would allow discrimination for religious reasons.

Go Maine (well, go Democrats in Maine, the GOP still proposed the bill and voted for it):

“Please vote to end the war on gay people in our state.” So said Maine Democratic State Rep. Matthew W. Moonen, speaking this morning in opposition to a Republican sponsored bill that would allow anti-gay discrimination by anyone for any reason, as long as they could claim it was done under their sincerely held religious beliefs.

LD 1428 “would carve out an exception for religious beliefs in the state’s non-discrimination laws, such as the Maine’s Human Rights Act,” said Maine’s Speaker of the House, Mark Eves, in a published statement. Eves added it “would undercut human rights protections and women’s rights by creating a loophole in the state’s strong non-discrimination laws.”

Well done.  If you can’t hang a “Whites Only” sign over your business’s water fountain because of your religion then you shouldn’t be able to hang a “Straights Only” sign either.

I realized this morning just what a step bills like this are for religious people.  For the last decade they’ve tried to fabricate secular reasons to justify their religious prejudice under the preconception that religiously based laws wouldn’t fly.  They would say that being gay is psychologically unhealthy (the psychologists say otherwise).  They would say gay parents are bad for children (the psychologists say otherwise).  And after a bunch of fibs about what is factually true about gay people and their effects on the country/children, these deeply religious people are just coming straight out with it in their bills: they want to make second class citizens of LGBT people because of religion.

It’s odious, it’s discriminatory, it’s a complete inversion of reality to say it’s discrimination of Christians aren’t allowed to discriminate, but at least it’s honest.  This is progress.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.