Religious Discrimination Act could target Christian schools, adoption agencies
LEXINGTON, KY—Opponents of a bill that threatens religious freedom in Kentucky said today that provisions of HB 155, which supporters claim are intended to protect gays from discrimination, could be used against Christian schools and adoption agencies as well as Christian-owned businesses. “HB 155 not only threatens Christian businesses, but puts Christian schools and adoption agencies run by religious groups in jeopardy,” said Martin Cothran, spokesman for The Family Foundation.
Most Christian schools have codes of conduct for their employees, and there are adoption agencies run by religious groups which, because of their religion-based hiring criteria, have already been targeted by proponents of such legislation.
“We might as well call this the Religious Discrimination Act of 2016,” said Cothran. “HB 155 will further fuel growing anti-religious intolerance directed against people who are just trying to exercise their First Amendment right to freedom of religious exercise in their efforts to help children. Groups supporting this bill have already used local gay rights ordinances as a weapon against businesses run by people of faith. This bill will allow them to pursue their own form of discrimination statewide.”
Cothran warned that there could be more Kim Davis cases if the bill passes. “We are now the first state to have jailed someone for exercising her religious freedoms. The last thing Kentucky needs is a national reputation as a state hostile to religious liberty.”
The group called on state legislators to turn down what they call “an unprecedented assault on religious freedom.”