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And in fact, few if any of these laws even represent a serious attempt to do that.
This is especially important to minority religious groups, whose practices are all too easily trampled on by laws and policies enacted by majorities.
But when exemptions to laws to accommodate religious beliefs or practices impinge on the rights of others or core societal values like nondiscrimination, lawmakers should proceed with caution.
They send a signal that the state governments enacting them accept and even embrace the dangerous and harmful notion that discrimination against LGBT people is a legitimate demand of both conscience and religion.
Particularly in states that lack any underlying laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people, many of the laws are not “exemptions” so much as a license to discriminate.
Without these protections, LGBT people across the United States lack clear recourse and redress when they are fired, evicted, or refused service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Against this backdrop of legal vulnerability, lawmakers who oppose marriage for same-sex couples and recent moves to advance transgender equality have led an anti-LGBT charge, pushing for, and often succeeding in getting, new laws that carve out religious exemptions for individuals who claim that compliance with particular laws interferes with their religious or moral beliefs.
In recent years and mostly since 2015, when the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, numerous states have considered and at least eight US states have enacted new laws that permit people to infringe on the rights of LGBT individuals and their families to the extent they believe that discriminating against them is necessary to uphold their own religious or moral beliefs.
In 2018, lawmakers in at least six other states will consider similar legislation. As has been widely publicized, some would permit people to refuse to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies or to provide goods and services related to such weddings.
Some laws enable and embolden businesses and service providers to refuse to serve LGBT people, compelling LGBT people to invest additional time, money, and energy to find willing providers; others simply give up on obtaining the goods or services they need.
More insidiously, they give LGBT people reason to expect discrimination before it even occurs, and to take extra precautions or avoid scenarios where they might face hostility out of self-preservation.
Together, the failure of most states to enact nondiscrimination protections and the growing number of religious exemption laws leave many LGBT people with little recourse when they encounter discrimination.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating