Recently a religious freedom law that was passed in the state of Indiana drew a lot of attention and created quite a stir all around the country. The law allowed businesses and people to choose to refuse doing business with same-sex couples on the grounds of religious objections. That meant, for example, that anyone like a wedding planner, a cake decorator or a photographer could’ve refused to work with a same-sex couple solely on the grounds that same-sex marriage is against their religious beliefs. The problem for many was that the law allowed businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples. However, lawmakers have already announced an amendment to the law that should prevent businesses from denying their services based on a person’s sexual orientation.
When the governor of Indiana signed the law he noted that Kentucky and Illinois also have similar religious freedom laws in place. However, what he failed to mention was that even though the Illinois law gives special protections to religious objectors, it also prevents discrimination based on a person’s sexual preference. The Indiana law does not have a similar ban. This is significant, because anti-discrimination laws typically carry more weight, so-to-speak, than religious exemptions.
According to reports, the purpose of religious freedom laws is to prevent governments from “burdening” a company’s exercise of religion, with the exception that that burden furthers a “compelling” government purpose. These laws are not intended to give a business the ability to deny service because of someone’s sexual orientation. They are usually designed to protect small exemptions for religious groups like the Amish, whose beliefs don’t always coincide with modern times.
No matter which side of the debate you’re on, this new law in Indiana has continued to draw a lot of attention from people on both sides of the issue. In any case, no one should have to be the victim of any kind of discrimination, including sexual preference. Discrimination in any form is not acceptable and should be prevented, whether by the government or by legal enforcement.
At the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline, we have more than 30 years of experience working with victims of discrimination. Whether it’s racial, gender, sexual orientation, or any other type of discrimination, we help victims fight for their rights and receive the respect they deserve. If you are facing discrimination at work, or at school, or any in other type of environment, then you should contact our office in Chicago today. We will review your situation and determine a course of action that best fits the specifics of your case. Please call us at 312-558-1454 or click here.