While we certainly think gays should have the
same rights as the rest of the people any law
forcing people not to discriminate against gays
would almost certainly violate the First Amendment
and prevent Christians, Jews and Muslims from practicing their religion.
Most people don't know it but the Old Testament is the basis of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions. The Old Testament also is a book that is full of hate and violence toward gays.
Catholic Diocese expresses concerns over changes to city’s non-discrimination law
By Dustin Gardiner The Republic | azcentral.com Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:55 PM
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix released a statement Monday opposing changes to the city’s non-discrimination law that would provide protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents.
The statement said Catholic leaders in the Valley condemn any hostility toward gay residents but believe Phoenix’s proposal is “so broadly worded that it risks trampling the religious liberties of Phoenix citizens for doing nothing more than living their faith.”
The timing of the release is sensitive. On Tuesday afternoon, the Phoenix City Council is expected to hold a hearing and vote on the proposed changes, which supporters say are similar to non-discrimination laws adopted by at least 166other cities and counties across the country.
“As written, the proposed ordinance could be interpreted as forcing people to actively endorse, support and promote actions and behaviors that violate their own personal, deeply held religious beliefs,” the Diocese states. “We call upon the Phoenix City Council to acknowledge and protect the conscience rights of all people to live and act according to their faith and values.”
A spokesman for the Diocese could not be reached Monday to elaborate on the church’s specific concerns with the proposal.
But some conservative leaders have questioned whether the ordinance fully exempts religious organizations, as city staff and supporters state. They also have raised concerns that it would allow transgender men to share bathrooms with women.
Mayor Greg Stanton has pushed to amend the ordinance to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. City law currently offers few such protections for gay residents.
Stanton, who is Catholic, said he respects the Diocese position but believes the city has an obligation to provide protections for LGBT residents. He added that welcoming diversity has economic benefits for the city.
The changes would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, such as restaurants and hotels. Businesses and individuals that don’t comply could be criminally prosecuted and face a misdemeanor charge, punishable by a $2,500 fine.
The city also changed the location of the meeting to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St.