Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The law was deemed an unconstitutional use of Congress' enforcement powers as it applied to the states, but that's about it. It still applies to the federal government. So now some states are using this law (which, incidentally, was introduced by one of the most liberal Democrats in Congress, Chuck Schumer, passed unanimously in in the House, and signed into law by Bill Clinton) as a model to answer the adoption of same-sex marriage within their borders by court decree. Since SCOTUS said the federal law doesn't apply to the states, some states felt they needed to close that argument. More recently SCOTUS has shown a tendency to uphold religious freedom, as in the Hobby Lobby case.
Last edited by Ahlevah; 03-28-15 at 09:34 AM.
However, I do think you're right to say that judges in different areas will come to different conclusions. There are definitely parts of the law which are unclear and judges often mirror their constituents in terms of POV.
The fact that the people of Indiana have chosen to not take action to prevent that harm does not mean that it could, if it chose to, take such action and remain within the limits the constitution places on the powers of govt.
And in states with such laws, it is usually the state that takes action. The Sweet cakes by Melissa is an example of the state taking action against a business that has discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation citing a religious objection
And there is nothing bigoted about prohibiting acts which harm commerce. It is a legitimate function of govt. What you want is "special rights" for christians which is a reprehensible form of theocratic bigotry.
Not quite true:
The options are make the sale, pay the fine, quit the business, or not offer the goods and services for which they have a specific problem. This is demonstrated by Masterpiece Cakes in Colorado. They have opted not to offer wedding cakes as part of their business model. Same with "The Hitching Post" in Idaho, the used to offer both religious and civil (non-religious) weddings. Because of the city ordinance they changed their business model and eliminated the option of a civil only ceremony. Since both owners are members of the clergy (an important distinction) and only perform religious weddings, even though they operate a for profit business, they are not required to perform non-religious weddings outside their faith.
"It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan