The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) has released its report on Peaceful Coexistence, which examines the way legal and constitutional issues arise when anti-discrimination laws and religious liberty conflict.
Chairman Martin R. Castro goes hard against religious freedom, demonizing and oversimplifying it as nothing more than a cloak of prejudice.
The official findings of the report state, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.”
But the individual Commissioner Statements were significantly more dramatic in tone.
For example, Chairman Castro stated that, “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia or any form of intolerance.”
He went on to declare that “Today, as in past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality.”
Other Commissioners in the majority warned of a “backlash” against the LGBT community and “thinly-veiled attempts to turn back the clock” in the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Supreme Court held same-sex marriage to be a right.
Commissioner Gail Heriot, however, disagreed with the majority and said, “The Commission majority takes a complex subject and tries to make it simple—far too simple. Not many legal or constitutional issues come down to good guys vs. bad guys.”
Commissioner Peter Kirsanow was also critical of the majority’s conclusions.
He stated that “religious liberty and anti-discrimination laws come into conflict in many different ways and there is no fair way to say that one set of concerns is ‘preeminent’ and the other set is not.”
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SOURCE: EEW Magazine News – Audrey Mullen