Last updated on: 4/3/2020 8:58:07 AM PST
Should the Government Allow Businesses to Deny Services to LGBTQ+ Customers Using Religious Freedom Laws?
Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993 to guard against government infringement on the free exercise of religion. Some states enacted their own religious freedom laws from 1993 into the mid-2010s to bar government at the state level from creating a burden on individuals' or religious groups' First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.
Debate over religious freedom laws heated up with cases in which businesses sought to deny services to LGBTQ+ customers, such as refusing to bake a wedding cake for same-sex couples. Proponents of the laws say they offer legal protections for peoples' religious beliefs. Opponents say the laws equate to government-sactioned discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
Source: FindLaw, "Religious Freedom Acts by State," civilrights.findlaw.com (accessed Mar. 25, 2020)
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