Florida House Bill 43 passed a vote by republicans in the house giving churches the right to discriminate (AGAINST) any marriage if they feel the marriage would violate their beliefs. Passed: 82/37 (3 republicans voted against it, Caldwell, Hager and Raschein. Representative Porter supported this law.)
The Bill reads:
An act relating to churches or religious organizations; creating s. 761.061, F.S.; providing that churches or religious organizations, related organizations, or certain individuals may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for related purposes if such action would violate a sincerely held religious belief; prohibiting certain legal actions, penalties, or governmental sanctions against such individuals or entities.
So what is the problem with it?
The U.S. supreme court has ruled that you cannot discriminate based on “race, color, religion, sex and national origin.” The State of Florida republican party feels, yes you can.
Another problem with the wording of the law is: “if such action would violate a sincerely held religious belief.” So a black couple could be refused marriage services in an all white church or vise versa. Maybe a Baptist couple wanted to marry in a Catholic church. How about a Jewish family that wanted to use a church chapel.
You do know that Westboro Baptist Church could protest a marriage and you couldn’t stop them with the passing of this law.
If the law passes it would mean that no recourse could be taken against the church or any of its affiliates for discrimination.
As of today, the senate hasn’t taken up the bill nor has the Governor signed it. But most likely any republican running for office will have to answer their actions to the voters.