New Hampshire Republicans are taking their hatred of the LGBT community to new heights. Not only are they trying to repeal gay marriage in the state, they are now pushing a bill that if passed, would allow businesses to discriminate against married same-sex couples.
HB 1264, similar to religious exceptions found in anti-bullying bills in Tennessee and Michigan, would give businesses the right to deny services to married same-sex couples on religious grounds. From the bill:
“￼￼￼Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person, including a business owner or employee thereof, shall be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual if the request is related to the solemnization, celebration, or promotion of a marriage and providing such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges would be a violation of the person’s conscience or religious faith. A person’s refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges in accordance with this section shall not create any civil claim or cause of action or result in any state action to penalize or withhold benefits from such person.”
This bill is now in committee and has a real chance of getting through. It gives New Hampshire business owners the power to discriminate against same-sex couples and any kind of couple they may oppose such as interracial couples. This is a concrete violation of the Civil Rights Act. Essentially, this bill allows hospital owners, school owners, owners of sporting facilities, and businessmen in general, to refuse service to couples they see as a violation of religious beliefs. It also gives employers the right to discriminate against gay employees as well, and prohibits the discriminated from filing legal complaints against the businesses. So this bill is designed to protect those who hate and takes rights away from those who are the victims of discrimination. It makes same-sex couples powerless to fight back. This bill is a pro-bullying bill. This is hate disguised as religious freedom and should not be tolerated in America. New Hampshire is quickly changing from a state of tolerance to a state of short-sighted bigotry and hatred, all in the name of Christianity.