Thursday, December 24, 2015

Proposed Bill In New Mexico Would Amend RFRA To Protect Religiously- Based LGBT Discrimination

While New Mexico already has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, last week two legislators pre-filed a bill for the new session that would expand the state's RFRA to permit businesses to refuse to conduct business with gay, lesbian and transgender individuals where the business has religious objections to doing so. Think Progress reports that the new House Bill 55, while prohibiting businesses from using religion to justify racial or gender discrimination, does not prohibit using religion to justify LGBT discrimination.  The Bill provides:
Nothing contained in the Human Rights Act shall ... burden a person's free exercise of religion by requiring the person to provide a service or to conduct business in a manner inconsistent with adherence to that person's sincerely held religious belief unless that adherence is based on race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, physical or mental handicap or serious medical condition.