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house Bill H.R. 2802

Do People, Businesses, and Churches Need Protections From the Government When Exercising Their Religious Beliefs About Same-Sex Marriage?

Argument in favor

Religious beliefs are explicitly protected by the First Amendment. People and businesses shouldn’t face persecution by the government over their beliefs, and churches shouldn’t lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t perform or recognize same-sex marriages.

Loraki's Opinion
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07/14/2015
If you vote "Nay", you are telling us we cannot freely exercise our freedom of religion! Many Americans have STRONG religious convictions where homosexuality is concerned. To say we can't act on these beliefs forces Christians to choose between God's law & man's law. That is totally unacceptable, for many of us will put God's law first! Government is PROHIBITED by the 1st. Amendment from dictating the terms under which we may put our religious beliefs into practice!
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jackson's Opinion
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07/16/2015
The federal government has no right to get involved in private business. Whether you hate Christians or not, they still have the right to practice their religious beliefs. If you don't agree with their opinion against serving gays, shop somewhere else. Competition will play its part and their business will suffer because of lost customers. Government policy would do nothing other than cause more problems and violate religious beliefs.
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Mel ann's Opinion
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07/18/2015
Christians need to return to their origins and re-check the example Christ lived. Who he dined with... Who he engaged with... He loved and fellowshipped with what the religious right of his day considered the scourge of society. I think discrimination anyone based on any kind of "sin or skin" is ludicrous and a horrendous business model. However, the choice to make such stupid choices should still remain theirs to make. It's not a crime. It is a right that should be protected as much as the right for same sex marriages to be protected. We all must live with the consequences of the choices we make while retaining the protected right to make those choices.
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Argument opposed

The federal government must ensure that all people’s rights are respected, and when those rights are threatened — it must act appropriately. If a person or group disagrees with same-sex marriage, they should lose their tax-exempt status or access to federal benefits.

Ellen's Opinion
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07/14/2015
Religion is a convenient excuse that has been used for centuries to excuse abhorrent behavior. The US Constitution guarantees equal protection to all citizens. We do not live under biblical law.
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jimmyking's Opinion
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07/14/2015
While it is important for churches to be protected from preforming same sex marriages that violate their beliefs (similar to how the Catholic Church is not required to marry people who have been divorced), this protection was already established in the majority opinion of Obergefell v. Hodges. This bill is unnecessary and goes too far. The OR bakery that was ordered to pay damages to the same sex couple they denied service to was not ordered to do so for denying service, but for publishing the home address and contact information of the couple which led to the couple receiving numerous threats that nearly caused them to lose custody of their children.
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Cathy's Opinion
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07/16/2015
Separation of church and state. Simple. We do not live a theocracy.
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    If you vote "Nay", you are telling us we cannot freely exercise our freedom of religion! Many Americans have STRONG religious convictions where homosexuality is concerned. To say we can't act on these beliefs forces Christians to choose between God's law & man's law. That is totally unacceptable, for many of us will put God's law first! Government is PROHIBITED by the 1st. Amendment from dictating the terms under which we may put our religious beliefs into practice!
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    Religion is a convenient excuse that has been used for centuries to excuse abhorrent behavior. The US Constitution guarantees equal protection to all citizens. We do not live under biblical law.
    Like (253)
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    While it is important for churches to be protected from preforming same sex marriages that violate their beliefs (similar to how the Catholic Church is not required to marry people who have been divorced), this protection was already established in the majority opinion of Obergefell v. Hodges. This bill is unnecessary and goes too far. The OR bakery that was ordered to pay damages to the same sex couple they denied service to was not ordered to do so for denying service, but for publishing the home address and contact information of the couple which led to the couple receiving numerous threats that nearly caused them to lose custody of their children.
    Like (100)
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    The federal government has no right to get involved in private business. Whether you hate Christians or not, they still have the right to practice their religious beliefs. If you don't agree with their opinion against serving gays, shop somewhere else. Competition will play its part and their business will suffer because of lost customers. Government policy would do nothing other than cause more problems and violate religious beliefs.
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    Separation of church and state. Simple. We do not live a theocracy.
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    This is absurd. No ones freedom of religion is being threatened. It's just an excuse to be a bigot!
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    You don't get to discriminate in this country. Move to Russia if you want to steal gay rights away. You can't discriminate against any minority. Get over it and act like the christians you pretend to be. Where is the kindness required of you savior. You are shameful
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    Oh please. Are businesses going to start refusing to serve divorcees? No. Never. "Strong religious convictions" is code word for "I'm a bigot hiding behind theism."
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    Christians need to return to their origins and re-check the example Christ lived. Who he dined with... Who he engaged with... He loved and fellowshipped with what the religious right of his day considered the scourge of society. I think discrimination anyone based on any kind of "sin or skin" is ludicrous and a horrendous business model. However, the choice to make such stupid choices should still remain theirs to make. It's not a crime. It is a right that should be protected as much as the right for same sex marriages to be protected. We all must live with the consequences of the choices we make while retaining the protected right to make those choices.
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    One group does not have the right to not be offended by another. No one group has to the right to force another group, individual, or business, to perform work that is deemed religiously prohibited. These should be auto protected under the 1st amendment, which was created to protect the people from the government intervention, not the other way around. So the government is not protected from religious beliefs, it is religious beliefs that protected from the government.
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    The language here is too broad. The Federal Civil Rights Act should probably be broadened to include sexual orientation. That act already prohibits privately owned places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin. Non-profit organizations such as churches are generally exempt from that law. Sexual orientation shouldn't be a pretext for discrimination.
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    Businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone, as they are private, just as a "gay business" has a right to refuse service to straight people.
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    I thought the 1st Ammendment ended this discussion. However, it seems our Constitution means nothing to Obama and Liberals in general.
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    The LGBT community should be a protected class. Religious beliefs doesn't give a person the right to deny service. It's 2015, it's time to accept everyone now. If you want to be against gays go to Russia.
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    The right to discriminate does not need to be protected.
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    If a person feels the need to speak out against homosexuality they should not be persecuted, prosecuted, or fined.
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    It is not God's will to hate. You can not enforce that your hatred of LGBT persons is reinforced by (nor a cornerstone of) your religious beliefs.
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    Unequivocally, yes! The federal government shouldn't really be in the marriage business to begin with. But outside of that, the free exercise of religion is protected in the FIRST amendment! Might as well scrap our whole constitution if we decide that it's subservient to so-called marriage equality, which is already based on very precarious foundational principles. But I guess this is par-for-the-course, as John Adams sounds down-right prophetic now pertaining to his statement that our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people and was wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
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    The first amendment guarantees our rights to freedom of religion. Under the false guise of discrimination many gay rights advocates are using the legal system to coerce and bully those individuals and organisations who have legitimate religious objections to participating in gay weddings and other ceremonies that conflict with their religious beliefs.
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    We don't have the first amendment so that we can talk about the weather or go to church on Sunday mornings; we have the first amendment so that we say and practice very controversial things. It doesn't matter my or any other person's opinion on homosexuality, or on matters of sex or race, all persons have the right to life, liberty and property that no majority can take away from them. It is abhorrent that some people believe that we have the right to not be offended, or the right to silence others because we deem their views sexist, racist, or homophobic. Who are you to use force or threat of force to make me do (what you think is) the right thing?
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