While the legislature is in session, the UUCA’s Promise the Children Advocacy group is enrolling the entire congregation in speaking up for children.
The “Ask”: Call or email your Georgia State Representative and ask him or her to vote NO on the so called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA), Senate Bill 129.
The Why: This bill would give wide latitude to people to disobey any law they don’t like based on any so-called “religious” objection they articulate–subject to limited, ambiguous, and undefined exceptions. The proposed law could well be interpreted to overturn Atlanta’s ordnance forbidding discrimination based on gender orientation.
Furthermore, the bill employs a very broad definition of “religious beliefs” saying it can be about any “practice or observance of religion, whether or not compelled by or central to a system of religious belief.” The intended and unintended consequences of this bill are huge: there is the potential that restaurants could refuse to serve gay or interracial couples, city clerks could refuse to marry interfaith couples, hotels could keep out Jews, housing developments could refuse to rent or sell to African Americans, banquet halls could turn away gay weddings, schools could specifically allow anti-gay bullying.
The list is long and daunting. People do many horrible things to children in the name of religion. For example, Georgia law makes it a criminal offense to perform genital mutilation on girls, as some people think their religion demands. The law specifically provides that religious belief does not excuse the crime. The proposed law might be read to override this legal protection for children.
The Message: “Dear Representative _______________, Please vote “NO” on SB 129 the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA). This bill has nothing to do with religious freedom and everything to do with discrimination. Thank you for your service and for all you do for Georgia’.
The How: Click here to find your Georgia State Representative and his/her contact information. Feel free to write to Governor Deal as well (click here to email him). They BOTH need to hear from citizens of Georgia!