Best Faith-Based End Run

'Religious Liberty' bills

Staff Pick

Supporters called them a "shield" while opponents said they were being used as a "sword." Either way, it was a full-on fight over a pair of so-called "Religious Liberty" bills introduced by Boise Rep. Lynn Luker in the 2014 legislative session. Based on similar laws introduced in statehouses around the country--and written from the Focus on the Family playbook--Luker's bills would have legally protected businesses and professionals (including doctors, attorneys, firefighters and police) that decline services to customers based on their religious beliefs. Seen as code for "you can legally discriminate against anyone you don't agree with," the opposition was swift and broad-based, from members of the LGBT community to faith leaders and civil libertarians. After more than a week of fiery public testimony, one of the bills was quietly killed while the other slipped into committee, where it rode out the session. There could be a resurrection. Lord knows, the Idaho Legislature works in mysterious ways.

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