If Kentucky is serious about attracting new businesses to the state, one thing we must do is resist the temptation to pass any so-called “religious freedom” laws like the ones that are currently wreaking havoc in North Carolina.
While supporters of these laws say they’re intended to protect the rights of people to live their lives in accordance with their chosen religion, what they really do is give people permission to run their businesses in a way that ignores the constitutional rights of anyone whose lifestyle doesn’t meet their religious standards.
Right now, Charlotte, North Carolina is losing hundreds of millions in cancelled conventions and lost business opportunities because of a state bathroom law based on irrational fears. And we got a good taste of terrible publicity last year in Kentucky when County Clerk Kim Davis tried to justify her own brand of discrimination by citing a legal protection that didn’t – and shouldn’t – exist.
Most good companies won’t move to any state that isn’t welcoming to their entire work force. Which means that providing anything less than totally equal protection to everyone basically amounts to economic suicide for any state.
Real religious freedom is basic to America. But the state has no business giving legal protection to unequal treatment.
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I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.