Friday, January 31, 2014

Freedom of Religion Bill in Idaho Legislature

H0426:

15 73-405. FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION -- PROFESSIONAL OR OCCUPATIONAL LI-
16 CENSE -- CERTIFICATE OR REGISTRATION. (1) No occupational licensing board or
17 governmental subdivision or entity shall deny, revoke or suspend a person's
18 professional or occupational license, certificate or registration for any
19 of the following and the following are not unprofessional conduct:
20 (a) Declining to provide or participate in providing any service that
21 violates the person's sincerely held religious beliefs or exercise of
22 religion except where performing emergency response duties for public
23 safety.
24 (b) Refusing to affirm a statement or oath that is contrary to the per-
25 son's sincerely held religious beliefs or exercise of religion.
26 (c) Expressing sincerely held religious beliefs.
27 (d) Providing faith-based services.
28 (e) Making business-related decisions in accordance with sincerely
29 held religious beliefs or exercise of religion including, but not lim-
30 ited to:
31 (i) Employment decisions;
32 (ii) Client selection decisions;
33 (iii) Financial decisions.
34 (2) This section is not a defense to and does not authorize in any way
35 the intentional infliction of emotional or physical injury upon any person.
36 (3) This section does not authorize any person to engage in conduct that
37 violates the emergency medical treatment and active labor act, 42 U.S.C.,
38 section 1395dd, or the religious land use and institutionalized persons act,
39 42 U.S.C., section 2000cc-1,as of the effective date of this section.
Essentially the goal is to make sure that governmental licensing will not be used to force businesses or individuals to violate their religious beliefs because they disapprove of a person's behavior, choices, or lifestyle.  (Think of the cake business in Oregon.)  Predictably, the Democrats are in an uproar about this, because force is the only way that Democrats have to imagine the world.

I would prefer that it not be so narrowly defined.  There are, surprisingly enough, many people who disapprove of homosexuality for reasons other than religious beliefs.  But it is a start.

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