An Oklahoma lawmaker has sponsored a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to any customer if they find their “sex, gender, or sexual orientation” offensive due to their religious beliefs, reports Raw Story.
State Senator Joseph Silk (R) has sponsored the “Oklahoma Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015,” a bill which would protect businesses from lawsuits for discriminating against customers who offend their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Silk explains he introduced the bill because the LGBT community is making it impossible for some business owners to maintain their religious convictions.
“The L.G.B.T. movement is the main thing, the primary thing that’s going to be challenging religious liberties and the freedom to live out religious convictions,” Silk explained before adding, “And I say that sensitively, because I have homosexual friends.”
Silk told the Times that LGBT citizens need to be sensitive to the rights of religious business owners, which supersede their rights as consumers and citizens of Oklahoma.
“They don’t have a right to be served in every single store,” he said. “People need to have the ability to refuse service if its violates their religious convictions.”
Additionally businesses could refuse to provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services, while also refusing to hire a person based upon their gender or sexual orientation.
Under Silk’s proposed law, businesses would not be able to be sued for discrimination.
Arkansas is also considering a bill similar to Silk’s, calling it the more mundane “Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act.”
Via his JosephSilk.com campaign website:
We are active members of Octavia Baptist Church, where I have lead a men’s small group and Kimberlee and I teach the childrens class on Sunday night.
If elected for State Senate District 5, I plan on going to the state capitol to change things. I promise to do everything in my power to uproot and overturn needless and overreaching laws, as well as draft and author new ones that protect and promote Faith Family and Freedom in Oklahoma.