In addressing the committee, apparently the LFA representative, Mr. Hoffpauir indicated that people can't choose their race or gender, but can leave the "gay lifestyle. One thing, reverend. The law, as it is now enforced, protects you because of your religious preference, which is chosen. Should we consider removing that from the law? My personal opinion is, no, but, by your own logic, it would be.
"It (the proposal) does not remedy an existing problem, and it opens the gate for potential contentious and expensive litigation," said Rev. Dale Hoffpauir, a Lafayette church pastor and chief operating officer of the conservative Louisiana Family Forum." This law would remedy an existing situation for many of the GLBTQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer) individuals who suffer loss of employment as the result of persecution by religion. I, in my own experience, have suffered such devastation, not because I was inadequate at my job, but because a supervisor had a different interpretation of a religious text than I. The proposed change affects real, living, hard working people.
Hoffpauir's concern about expensive lawsuits, though admirable from a budget perspective, is not held up by observable fact. Just how many expensive lawsuits have individuals in your congregation filed because they wanted to use the protection offered them by this same law? I would venture none has filed or even know anyone who has filed such a suit. Why do you feel the GLBTQ population is going to be different from your congregants in that regard? They will probably not be much different. And I do not think you have any actual statistics to prove otherwise The only reason I believe that can be offered is that you would like your congregants to be able to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals, not because they cannot do a job, but simply because they are LGBTQ. And you would like for your friends, family, and church to be able to do so without being held accountable for it.
To say that I am quite disappointed in Reps. Barras, R-New Iberia; Berthelot, R-Gonzales; Danahay, D-Sulphur; Miller, R-Norco; Pugh, R-Ponchatoula; and Burns, R-Mandeville, is an understatement. These men were not reasonable in voting against this measure which would supply some justice and stability for a minority class, without also also holding those religious groups, such as the Louisiana Family Forum, accountable for their unwillingness to admit that there are religious people who believe in supporting ALL families, including those led by GLBTQ individuals.
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