Sunday, February 09, 2014

TN Bills Allows Businesses to Refuse Services to Same-Sex Couples

Here we go again, another anti-gay bill proposed by Tennessee Republicans.  State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) has offered up Bill SB2566, called the "Religious Freedom Act," which would permit "persons and religious or denominational organizations, based on sincere religious belief, to refuse to provide services or goods in furtherance of a civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage not recognized by the Tennessee Constitution."  While it is claimed that the bill only protects church and religious organizations from lawsuits if they refuse to offer services to same-sex couples, its scope is open to interpretation, and appears to allow small businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples, even if they are legally married in another state, and even if the federal government recognizes the marriages.  

TN Bills Allows Businesses to Refuse Services to Same-Sex Couples | Local 24 News 

Kelsey Bill Would Allow Refusal of Services to Same-Sex Couples (Commercial Appeal)

Brian Kelsey Sponsors Anti-Gay Bill (Memphis Flyer)

The Tennessee Equality Project raises concerns about whether the bill would allow religious affiliated medical organizations and hospitals to refuse to recognize legally married same-sex couples, or to refuse them medical services.

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