Democrats shouted "Shame! Shame!," but seven Republicans switched their votes under pressure from House leaders Thursday and defeated a measure to protect gay rights.
The final vote was 213-212 after the chaos on the House floor. That was enough to defeat an amendment by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., aimed at upholding an executive order that bars discrimination against LGBT employees by federal contractors.
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He [Rep. Maloney] was trying to include it [the amendment] in a spending bill following passage late Wednesday of a defense policy bill that included a provision Democrats said would overturn the executive order. Republicans said the measure [the defense policy bill] was simply a restatement of religious liberties from the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and they bristled at Democratic criticism.
"There are some people who are emotional ... that's beyond the pale. They can say whatever they want to but that's beyond the pale," said Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, asked about Democrats saying Republicans were a party of hate. "This country has a First Amendment that protects religious liberties, and that's all we were doing is protecting that."
In our opinion, the statute immediately under consideration is within the legislative power of Congress. It is constitutional and valid as prescribing a rule of action for all those residing in the Territories, and in places over which the United States have exclusive control. This being so, the only question which remains is whether those who make polygamy a part of their religion are excepted from the operation of the statute. If they are, then those who do not make polygamy a part of their religious belief may be found guilty and punished, while those who do, must be acquitted and go free. This would be introducing a new element into criminal law. Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. Suppose one believed that human sacrifices were a necessary part of religious worship; would it be seriously contended that the civil government under which he lived could not interfere to prevent a sacrifice? Or if a wife religiously believed it was her duty to burn herself upon the funeral pile of her dead husband; would it be beyond the power of the civil government to prevent her carrying her belief into practice?
So here, as a law of the organization of society under the exclusive dominion of the United States, it is provided that plural marriages shall not be allowed. Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief?
Page 98 U. S. 167
To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and, in effect, to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.
Do you agree or disagree that "religious liberty" arguments are misused?
Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief?
Debra Law wrote:Do you agree or disagree that "religious liberty" arguments are misused?
Not so sure if they are being misused so much as just fundamentally wrongheaded. The problem is that religions are often incompatible with modern society's civil rights evolutions. At the same time religious liberty is itself an important civil right.
I think this is more of a natural conflict between a civil right that allows people to believe what they want and some of said beliefs being incompatible with the modern world and modern society's evolving civil rights.
Quote:Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief?
Many hospitals and medical practices , because of their religious affliations do not allow abortions to be performed within their institutions . Some such hospitals and practices are associated with the American Catholic Church.
In the US, Catholic hospitals prohibit abortion ( even though abortion is now legal in the USA), unless the woman-in -question stands a good chance of losing her life. Then an abortion may be performed.
In those cases of pregnancy, where conflict between a woman and her fetus may exist, a decision must be made as to which life should be saved . Should the infant be saved or should the mother of this infant be saved?
In the above situations, Catholic hospitals have always favored the life of the infant over the life of the mother-to-be.
In the US, where about 70% of the population is said to be Christian, it's not suprising that religious belief ( often associated with a specific religion) often rules.
While i agree that the concept of religious liberty is probably being abused, i wonder what you would propose to remedy the situation. We cannot see into the hearts of legislators, so we cannot proceed from an assumption that the members of the House are self-serving hypocrites. (I believe this to be the case, but what i believe is not a basis upon which to insist that people be compelled to act.) In that case, what grounds do we have for shaming, or even attempting to shame any legislator, or group of legislators? If the actions of any legislator become infamous to her or his constituents, the remedies available are to vote her or him out of office in the primary or general election; or in extreme cases, to initiate the legal steps for a recall, and to hope that it will succeed. That would leave shaming as the only alternative in a situation in which there is not time for a recall, which is the situation here. In a good deal of the political process, timing is crucial, and so it is in this situation. Even if some of the constituents of these legislators were offended--which i doubt, given that successful politicians are adroit at such judgments--it is doubtful that it can be made into an issue which will be decisive by November.
So what would you propose to do?
Well, either that's no answer at all, or your answer is that it should be discussed in public. If the latter, i doubt that things will change any time soon.
I suggest a zanex or two. Maybe a couple glasses of wine.
You need to lighten up.
When you see all this hate speech and legislation, remember that the reason we are seeing it is because we are winning. Marriage equality is the law of the land and homosexuals are coming out of the closet safely. Campaigns like "It Gets Better" are reaching out to at risk young people to show them hope and another way while educating teachers and parents. Our young people get it, they are leading the charge for acceptance and equality. We are talking about transgender people now instead of ignoring them. Harsh, bigoted laws in states like North Carolina are not just making people shake their heads, they are taking their business elsewhere and people like Governor McCrory are finding that instead of just solidifying his base, he solidified his opposition. The angry, hateful laws and posts about "religious liberty" are what happens when bigots are confronted and challenged, but take heart that the bulk of Americans are looking up from the challenges of their everyday lives and paying attention and when they do, most of them do the right thing.