Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Religious Freedom and Restoration Act

The other day the House of Representatives in Michigan passed a bill called the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act. I first saw word posted about this on Facebook and the article that went along with it had me in shock. I was just as upset as everyone I saw posting about it. I had a whole blog planned in my head of what I wanted to say, but I thought maybe I should get some information for myself first. What I found was that, this bill had become law and the law was that paramedics could deny medical care to gay people.  I did a little bit of research and came across a message board of people talking about this topic. Several people were in an uproar, as was I. This bill sounded absolutely ridiculous to me, how in the world could you deny someone the right to medical care just because you didn't agree with their lifestyle. I did some more research. First of all this is not law, this still needs to pass the Senate and then signed by the Governor. Next the bill doesn't allow paramedics the right to deny medical care to homosexuals. This bill is apparently supposed to be more geared towards religious freedom. From

According to the text of that bill, a person who acted contrary to Michigan law because doing otherwise would burden that person's exercise of religion could use the provisions of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act as a defense in a criminal or civil case resulting from his actions (or inaction):
A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in any judicial or administrative proceeding and obtain appropriate relief, including equitable relief, against government.
A court or tribunal may award all or a portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees, to a person who prevails against government under this section.
For example, under the Religious Freedom law, a pharmacist could refuse to fill a doctor's prescription for birth control, or HIV medication. An emergency room physician or EMT could refuse service to a gay person in need of immediate treatment. A school teacher could refuse to mentor the children of a same-sex couple, and a DMV clerk could refuse to give a driver's license to a person who is divorced.
Nothing in the RFRA specifically exempts all medical personnel from providing emergency treatment to gay patients; the claim that medical personnel could opt out of providing emergency treatment to gay patients on the grounds of religious objection is one of the hypothetical scenarios opponents have posed as what might come to pass if the RFRA were enacted:

The house bill can be read here:

If the bill becomes law I am pretty sure people will take advantage of it. Twist and turn the words to fit their prejudices in someway. I also think people should have freedom to practice their religious beliefs, as long as they aren't hurting anyone. I thought we already had a right to religious freedom in this country anyway. 


1 comment:

  1. As for me there is no way that this can be the truth. Guys, we live in XXI century!! How can we refuse to help other people just because they have different lifestyle! No, I do not believe in that.


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