New bill could affect anti-discrimination laws

New bill could affect anti-discrimination laws

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Fred Swanstrum
Courtesy COMM 273

House bill 427 presented by Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise was met with opposition by community members during a Boise hearing at the Idaho Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Hours of testimony in opposition caused the bill to be sent to general orders where the wording of the bill will be revised in order for it to be presented at another hearing possibly within the next few weeks.

Luker’s bill would expand on the Restoration of Religious Freedoms Act which protects people from being sued by the government for refusing service to individuals based on religious beliefs.

If passed, the bill would extend that protection to ensure people cannot be sued by individuals if service was refused for religious reasons. Luker has also made it clear that the bill does not allow people to refuse emergency medical service nor does it allow for individuals to be caused physical or emotional injury under any circumstances.

The bill could have an impact for students on campus. Businesses around Boise State would be affected if this bill were to pass which could potentially come into conflict with the city’s current anti-discrimination
policies.

While Luker’s bill is intended to protect people from making decisions that violate their religious beliefs, opposition to the bill has raised concerns that it would allow for discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and queer community.

For more information on the status of the bill and how to contact your legislator you can visit http://legislature.idaho.gov.

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