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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

The Balancing Act of Determining Discrimination

2016 May 17

The balancing act of determining discrimination

Multiple “religious freedom” bills are currently capturing the attention of state legislatures across the country. “Religious freedom” bills are proposed legislation that call for religious organizations, businesses, and individuals to be protected from penalties for declining to provide services to individuals whose lifestyle conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs.  After the Supreme Court decision in 2015 to legalize same-sex marriage, these bills are particularly pertinent for those who, due to their religious beliefs, feel that they cannot provide their services to LGBTQ events concerning marriage. As a result, state legislatures and their constituents are facing the question of how they should balance the rights of people of faith and those of LGBTQ people.

The pressure to strike this balance has not been isolated to this year alone. In 2015, after passing SB 101, a bill that prohibited the state from “burdening a person’s exercise of religion,” the Indiana legislature clarified a month later with SB 50 that SB 101 does not authorize a “provider” to refuse an individual on the basis of the individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This event foreshadowed the legislative competition that was to come after the 2015 same-sex marriage decision, with churches and LGBTQ groups vying for the protection of those they represent.

Introduced in January 2016, Georgia HB 757 proposed to authorize a religious official or organization to decline to perform a ceremony or provide a service that went against their religious beliefs. The bill passed both the House ...

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August E-Newsletter

2012 August 30

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National Intern Spotlight: Sean Pedigo

2012 June 25

We threw the spotlight on one of our new interns, Sean, and asked him a few questions about his time, so far, here at the Great Divide Ranch... 
For more information on our National Internship Program, click here

June Common Ground E-Newsletter

2012 June 12

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Will your candidates show political courage?

2012 May 23

Every election year, Project Vote Smart uses the Political Courage Test (PCT) to measure the willingness of candidates to provide their positions on key issues. Find out now if your candidates are currently being tested. 

April Common Ground E-Newsletter

2012 April 24

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Candidates Running in 2011 Lack Courage

2011 October 17 - Darren McDivitt

“It shouldn’t take courage for a politician to complete a survey regarding positions on issues. Yet seemingly it does.” – South Bend Tribune

Kentucky Candidates for Governor Lack Courage

2011 October 13 - Carly Griffin

Mailing Madness

2010 June 03 - robin

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