Dating laws in tennessee
Proponents of these laws argue that they properly balance religious freedom with the rights of LGBT individuals.
In fact, with few exceptions, the laws as drafted create blanket exemptions for religious believers to discriminate with no consideration of or even mechanism for consideration of the harms and burdens on others.
The outreach focused on eight states where statewide exemptions affecting LGBT people had been legislatively enacted at the time the research began: Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Researchers conducted a total of 112 interviews, including 30 individuals who were affected by discrimination and 82 advocates and providers working with affected individuals.
From August 2017 to January 2018, researchers interviewed 112 LGBT people, service providers, and advocates, primarily in states that have enacted religious exemptions in recent years, about the discrimination that LGBT people have faced because of an absence of comprehensive nondiscrimination legislation and the passage of legislation that provides for exemptions based on religious or moral beliefs.
The results of this research indicate that the laws already enacted in eight states and the bills still under consideration in many more do not strike a proper balance between the freedom of religion and the equal rights of LGBT people under the law.
In recent years and mostly since 2015, when the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, numerous states have considered and at least eight US states have enacted new laws that permit people to infringe on the rights of LGBT individuals and their families to the extent they believe that discriminating against them is necessary to uphold their own religious or moral beliefs.
In 2018, lawmakers in at least six other states will consider similar legislation. As has been widely publicized, some would permit people to refuse to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies or to provide goods and services related to such weddings.
As marriage equality became a reality, first in individual states and then nationally, lawmakers proposed allowing those with religious or moral objections to refuse or decline to provide a range of goods and services to same-sex couples.
Together, the failure of most states to enact nondiscrimination protections and the growing number of religious exemption laws leave many LGBT people with little recourse when they encounter discrimination.
While these exemptions are almost always couched in the language of religious freedom or religious liberty, they directly and indirectly harm LGBT people in a variety of ways.
In response to the state’s “license to discriminate” bill, Steve Long displays a sticker welcoming LGBT customers to his restaurant in Jackson, MS, on October 2, 2017. Solis / AP Photo Over the past decade, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have made significant legal and political gains in the United States, including the freedom to marry.
Despite this progress, federal law does not expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in fields like employment, housing, and access to services, and fewer than half of the states offer explicit protections for LGBT people at the state level.