I was glad to see this from my Bishop.
The Catholic bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine wrote this week to Mayor Lenny Curry and the City Council that any expansion of the city’s anti-discrimination law to cover sexual orientation must have “strong conscience exemptions” for churches, religious organizations and private businesses.
The Most Rev. Felipe J. Estevez said while the church is opposed to “unjust discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” a change in the law must ensure that people providing employment, housing and public accommodations can still make decisions guided by their “sincerely and deeply held religious beliefs.”
Estevez’s letter highlights the contentious question of where to draw the line on religion-based objections to expanding the anti-discrimination law to cover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
A bill supported by City Councilmen Tommy Hazouri and Aaron Bowman would exempt any “religious corporation, association or society” from being subject to the anti-discrimination law regarding LGBT people.
Estevez’s letter says the exemption should be broader to cover church entities, religious nonprofits, professionals, and the private businesses of “people with strongly held contrary religious beliefs.” Source
A necessary letter considering the trend of the narrow view of religious liberty as espoused and enforced by the Obama administration. Very glad the Bishop mentioned private businesses.
The authors of the law talk about striking the “right balance”, as if rights can be taken a way or shifted to make everybody even as Procrustes would do.
Conscience exemption is good, but I fear it becomes a way to allow the suppression of orthodoxy in the long run. Peter Lawler had some interesting thoughts in that regard on Catholic Culture this week in regard to euthanasia.