Written by Don Byrd
Baptist Joint Committee General Counsel Holly Hollman offers a must-read column on the current state law controversies responding to the legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Our media cycles, she warns, are not treating religious liberty issues with the care they deserve.
Here is an excerpt:
Let’s take a deep breath and step back to reaffirm our religious freedom foundations. How we protect religious freedom is as important as why we protect it. There are differences in state religious liberty proposals and the legal and political contexts in which they arise. Religious exemptions may or may not be needed, but they are not inherently suspicious or harmful to others. They are instead an important part of religious freedom in America.
[S]pecific religious liberty exemptions exist throughout federal, state and local laws to address particular needs, such as those of houses of worship. Exemptions are common to promote religious liberty, and they should be carefully crafted to minimize harm to other important interests. As recent controversies demonstrate, however, conflicts between religious beliefs and LGBT rights are not easily addressed. When legislative efforts fail to take into account potential harm to others, the fallout is predictable.
She goes on to provide helpful guidance on how to evaluate proposed religious exemption legislation. Read the whole thing.