Nondiscrimination Laws Handcuff Religious Freedoms

By Daniel Emanuel & Matthew Detweiler

They’re taking our religious freedoms little by little. With the signing of a new nondiscrimination law in Charlotte, a new wakeup call resounds. The equalization of the LGBTQ+ community to a civil rights standard will bring trouble for people who call that lifestyle a sin.

In an interview conducted by Lions Awaken to Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of North Carolina Values Coalition, she explained that, “these ordinances elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to civil right status… Charlotte was the eighth city to pass an ordinance of this type” in North Carolina. The problem is that the LGBTQ+ community is based upon a choice, not a condition from birth (gender, skin color, nationality…).

In trying to make broader the nondiscrimination law, lawmakers are discriminating against religious liberties. Phillip Berham, a citizen of Charlotte who spoke at the hearing before the vote, said “No matter how you try to be broadminded, you’re becoming narrow-minded and discriminatory and you’re going to be ashamed of it.” Bypassing the rights of Christian business owners will damage society. Instead of less discrimination, there will be more. They are just redirecting it.

These type of municipal laws may seem insignificant, but these are the ones that push state legislatures to take the same stand. By the time we realize what they are trying to do, we will be fighting the consequences in courts and Congress. We cannot neglect our duty to push back this agenda or these will be the laws our children will learn in school as they grow up.

The ordinance in Charlotte has an exemption for religious organizations, unlike those in other cities and states. However, religious businesses are not. This is the kind of bill LGBTQ+ groups have used to target religious businesses in other states. In 2012 a baker in Colorado was charged with violating his state’s anti-discrimination law after he refused to bake a cake for a same sex wedding because it was against his Christian convictions. There were two more instances since then where he was charged for violating the same law.

In 2013, a florist in Washington was sued by the state for violating the state law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, because she refused to design a flower arrangement for a same sex wedding due to her Christian beliefs. According to Fitzgerald the florist is on the verge of losing everything she’s worked for due to her eight-year court battle with the state.

Fitzgerald brought up another case in Lexington KY (2012) where a Christian business owner was charged of violating the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance by refusing to print t-shirts for a LGBTQ+ festival because it went against his Christian beliefs. Fitzgerald said these people (Christians) have been targeted and harassed for years.” It may seem subtle or little, but that’s how religious persecution starts.

How long will it be until they try to enforce laws like this on religious organizations? How can we stop that? Tami Fitzgerald gave a simple answer, “vote”. The City Council of Charlotte is controlled by radical Liberals because people thought municipal elections were insignificant. Liberals celebrate every little advance while we disregard these little foxes that could destroy a whole crop. It is time to make our voice and vote count.