GOP Rep. pitches LGBTQ rights bill with religious exemptions
Added 12-06-19 01:03:02am EST - “As Democrats champion anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and Republicans counter with worries about safeguarding religious freedom, one congressional Republican is offering a proposal on Friday that aims to achieve…” - Washingtontimes.com
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As Democrats champion anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and Republicans counter with worries about safeguarding religious freedom, one congressional Republican is offering a proposal on Friday that aims to achieve both goals.
The bill that Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart plans to unveil would shield LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other public services - while also carving out exemptions for religious organizations to act based on beliefs that may exclude those of different sexual orientations or gender identities. Stewart’s bill counts support from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but it has yet to win a backer among House Democrats who unanimously supported a more expansive LGBTQ rights measure in May.
But the uphill climb for his plan doesn’t daunt Stewart, who sees the bill as a way to “bridge that gap” between preventing discrimination and allowing religion to inform individual decisions.
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“I don’t know many people who wake up and say ‘I want to discriminate’. Most people find that offensive,” Stewart told The Associated Press. “There are people who, and I’m included among them, have religious convictions that put them in a bind about how to reconcile those two principles.”
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