HB 322 – Religious Liberty and Nondiscrimination Protection – L Christensen.
Please support this bill as opposed to SB 296 – Antidiscrimination and Religious Liberty Amendments – Urquhart
HB 322 protects individual religious liberty, SB 296 does NOT!
SB 296 is mis-named. It is NOT a religious liberty bill because it does not protect people of faith, only institutions and it leaves some huge gaps in protections for doctors, therapists and businesses in general such as Hobby Lobby and Chick Fila that have religiously held beliefs among its ownership, for example. It is fast-tracked for a vote TODAY, Friday, March 6, 2015 at 3 PM TIME CERTAIN.
Please contact ALL Senators immediately. Ask them to VOTE NO on SB 296: Antidiscrimination and Religous Liberty Amendments (Urquhart-Adams).
This bill has several flaws:
1. We need more time to review and inform voters and others who will be affected negatively by this legislation.
For a bill that demands “fairness,” what kind of fairness is there in a thirty-five page bill that dramatically changes the definition of sex to “gender identity” – the first time ever in Utah history – and that has been given less than 24 hours to to review?
In less than 24 hours, we have not had time to bring in expert witnesses from Johns Hopkins University, Harvard and Los Angeles – all who were willing to be there to testify.
We have barely had time to get the information to those reading this blog post in time to respond for the scheduled 8 AM hearing.
This is not what we expect from our Utah legislators. This is what happens only in Washington DC, right? Wrong. It’s happening now, right here in UTAH!
2. This bill protects institutions, associations and affiliates, but it leaves you and me – the individual religious adherent vulnerable and “under the bus.”
This is unacceptable. Another bill in the House, HB 322, sponsored by Representative LaVar Christensen and by your colleague Senator Al Jackson in the Senate, has the proper balance and DOES protect individuals. We cannot pass SB 296 without removing this flaw, but the sponsors have told us it is NOT AMENDABLE!
The easier and more logical solution is to support HB 322 – Religious Liberty and Nondiscrimination Protections when it comes to the Senate.
3.Lines 105-109, page 4: SB 296 uses the DSM-5 definition of “gender identity.” This is the very organization that is trying to shut down therapists and counselors and doctors around the country who desire to help their clients based on their religious beliefs, and we should trust that source to protect our First Amendment liberties?
Even at BYU, the APA accredits the psychology department. The chairman told me that they cannot teach the students any form of therapy that would involve religious teachings if the program is to stay accredited.
In California, it is now against the law for parents to take their minor children who are confused about their sex or struggling with homosexuality to a counselor for help. These therapists are now in the Courts fighting for their First Amendment rights. I serve on their national task force and am following this disturbing trend closely.
Where is the fairness or protection to them in this bill?
In addition, putting this DSM definition into this bill removes not only fairness from the medical field, it ignores the integrity of medical science and ignores the conflict that exists between medical doctors and the DSM.
Solid medical science has proven DNA, which defines whether a person is a male or a female. While surgery can alter physical body parts, it cannot alter DNA. A person is born either male or female.
Yet Utah legislators are about to consider a proposal that undermines the integrity of medical science without hearing from respected doctors who disagree with that definition and who have longitudinal studies they have not been given time to present.
Putting this language into Utah law will leave the therapist or doctor on staff at a hospital unprotected and at risk of discrimination should they are forced to provide services they do not believe in religiously or ethically, as is already happening in California under similar laws.
4. Lines 681-685, P. 23: This bill appears to require employers to provide bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities specifically for the transgendered. Yet the bill has no fiscal note attached. We have no idea what the cost to taxpayers or employers will be, let alone how companies may have to increase their prices to the consumer to accommodate yet another building regulation. There has been no time to get this information to businesses that may be adversely affected.
The REAL Story Behind Why Utah Would Support an LGBT Bill and What Happened in the Senate Hearing
(Hint: Stop Funding Liberal Corporations and Start Buying Products and Services from Companies that share our values!)
Our friend, Brian Camenker of www.massresistance.com, from Massachusetts listened to the entire SB 296 Senate hearing online. He asked me if the sponsors were Democrats. I said, “No – they are REPUBLICANS!” He was stunned because the sponsors were giving a completely liberal message and brought in very liberal experts to testify – just as the Democrats of Massachusetts do!
Those of us who oppose this legislation waited our turn to speak patiently. The committee chair, Curt Bramble, allowed a 60-minute filibuster for proponents to speak. That left us only one minute and with such short notice – NO experts available to testify.
Expert witnesses from the pro-LGBT side were lined up representing pro-gay corporations eBay and Adobe both touting how important this bill is for their companies and that in order for them to stay in Utah this was a necessary step. The Adobe representative shared that before it came to Utah, its leadership told Utah marketers that this issue would need to be resolved.
Apparently Governor Herbert, who has spent an inordinate amount of time in Silicon Valley California to market Utah as the “next Silicon Valley” to companies who find California an unfriendly place economically for business is luring them to Utah and has assured them that Utah would become an LGBT-friendly state.
Another witness from Illinois testified for a long time and has apparently been very involved in crafting Utah’s bill and promoted it as “the national model” they are going to take state by state.
When I saw the Adobe building going up at the “Point of the Mountain” in Utah County, I predicted that it would change the face of the conservative cultural environment. We are now seeing this happen. Pay attention, Utahns.
This is all about money and profit. As Christians we are told that where our treasure is, there shall our heart be also. Do we so easily sell our values for money? Apparently so in Utah.
That is why American Leadership Fund is joining with companies that stand strong on principle and religious values and that show great American Leadership. We urge you to support these products and services and to help us develop a coalition of consumers that will keep our country under God.
Please mention American Leadership Fund when you call.
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