Friday, July 8, 2011

Candace Chellew-Hodge on Fatal Flaws of "Religious Liberty" Exemptions in Rhode Island Civil Union Legislation

Candace Chellew-Hodge at Religion Dispatches on the fatal flaws hidden in the "religious liberty" exemptions afforded to faith-based groups by Rhode Island's recent civil unions legislation: as she notes, the legislation gives religious groups the right to discriminate against a partner of a gay spouse in health-care or hospital treatment: 

For religious organizations to insist on such a wide berth—so wide as to violate the rights (and the dignity) of partners—betrays their real agenda. It’s not the freedom to practice their religion that they want, but the freedom to punish, with impunity, those who refuse to conform to their beliefs.

And, to their extreme discredit and shame, this is what the U.S. Catholic bishops continue to push and lobby for: for their "right" to discriminate, and to call this discrimination "religious freedom."  Even as they (falsely) claim that they love gay folks and want to protect them from discrimination. 

And it's for this legislation that Rhode Island Catholic bishop Thomas Tobin predicts God will punish Rhode Island.

The graphic is from the response of the Rainbow Sash movement to Bishop Tobin's fear-mongering statements about same-sex civil unions in Rhode Island.

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