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 ...
2014 October 27
Today, Vote Smart released the results of the National Political Courage Test to VoteEasy at VoteSmart.org, giving Minnesota voters an invaluable resource for identifying their best political match November 4th. Thirty congressional, state legislative and gubernatorial candidates passed the 2014 Political Courage Test.
2013 April 26
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2013 April 26
What comes to mind when you think of Minnesota? Hockey? Lakes? Maybe the movie “Grumpy Old Men”? How about Hotdishes?
2013 April 22
We here at Project Vote Smart often lament the lack of civility in Congress and in state legislatures across this nation.
2013 January 16
States across America considered legislation in their most recent sessions that would change voting and voter registration requirements.
2012 November 19
Over the past few years, the country has witnessed an abundance of legislation on both the state and national levels regarding same-sex marriage.
2012 October 29
A 20-year study of over 15,000 congressional candidates and their willingness to answer questions on the major issues
2012 June 12
The February 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin has ignited a media firestorm surrounding so-called “stand your ground” or “castle doctrine” laws in the United States.