View: Invitation to Rally Against “License to Discriminate” Dec. 18

View: Invitation to Rally Against “License to Discriminate” Dec. 18candlewickHOLIDAY

(Guest View by Julia Music, Chair of Ferndale Pride, Dec. 16, 2014)

It seems almost impossible that in 2014 our State’s Senate may vote on a bill to legalize discrimination. Michigan’s House, however, passed the bill and now we as Michiganders are watching Lansing to see if the Senate will follow suite.

In Ferndale, we can’t just let this bill go unnoticed. Attorney and President of the Stonewall Bar Association Erica Moise quickly assembled a planning committee and rally to oppose the bill. Teaming with Ferndale Pride she was able to push the message out across Michigan quickly. As a result, thousands have been calling their state senators http://oaklandcounty115.com/reader-support/to voice their decent to the bill. It’s the hope of the organizers that the bill will die before it gets to the floor and that the rally will transform into a celebration.

A recent article in oc115 described the bill saying “Religious Freedom claims have been used by companies to deny reproductive healthcare coverage to female employees, to allow doctors and psychiatrists to refuse service to clients whose religious beliefs or lifestyles differ from their own, and in cases where business owners want to refuse employment or service to individuals who contradict their religious beliefs. Examples could include pharmacists who refuse to give hormones to transgender people, a counselor refusing to help a depressed or suicidal gay person, or a baker who refuses to sell a cake to a gay couple or someone of a differing faith than their own.”   The dda_ad_03discrimination not only hurts the LGBT community, it allows people to discriminate against people of different races and religions.  This has moved forward while a bill that would give LGBT citizens protection under the State Civil Rights Act was not brought forward for a vote.

Please join us on Thursday for a rally to let Michigan know we do not support the “religious freedom” bill.

Here is the information from the rally’s organizer…

December 18, 2014 7PM, Downtown Ferndale, 9 & Woodward.

On December 18, 2014, the Michigan Senate could potentially vote on and approve the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This would legalize a license to discriminate the LGBTQ community in Michigan. However, steele lindbloom adthis bill doesn’t just legalize a license to discriminate the LGBTQ community, it will become a license to discriminate everyone.

Let’s not let them get away with trying to push this through behind our backs. It’s the lame duck session, but we are paying attention.

Bring your signs and let’s tell the Michigan legislature what we think about this disgusting piece of “legislation”.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) would usher in a new era of discrimination, not only for LGBTQ people in Michigan, but for everyone. The RFRA would allow organizations and individuals to refuse gardenfreshADservice to those who do not adhere to the same “deeply held religious beliefs.” This could be as simple as being denied service at a restaurant because you’re a gay couple, or as horrible as being denied urgent and lifesaving medical care because you’re a lesbian.

This doesn’t just affect the LGBTQ community, however. Here are some of the ways it could affect everyone in the State of Michigan:

If your pharmacist’s religious beliefs are contrary to birth control, he/she could refuse to fill your prescription.
If you are an unmarried couple looking to rent a house, you could be denied based on your status as an unmarried couple.
gallowaycollens1If you are an interracial couple in a restaurant, you could be refused service if the person’s religious beliefs don’t agree with races mixing.

Since the legislature refuses to objectively define what a “sincerely held religious belief” is, the negative consequences of this bill are endless! The First Amendment to the US Constitution already makes religious freedom a fundamental right in this country. This bill is discriminatory and unnecessary.

We have to stop this!!!

Look for the rally on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1513977765535746

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  As a founding member of Ferndale Pride and the founder of Ferndale Adoption Network, Julia Music has taken an active roll in community organizing with in the city of Ferndale.  She has taught middle school for more than a decade in the West Bloomfield School District.  She has one son that she loves more than anyone else in the world and credits him for motivating her to make the world a better place to live right here in Oakland County.

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