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How Religious Freedom Is Misused For Anti LGBT+ Hate

Jan 23 2022

Men With Adhesive Tape Over Their Mouths is by Anna Shvets and is licensed under the Pexels License

Claiming religious freedom is one of the main tactics anti-LGBT+ groups use to attack and discriminate against LGBT+ people. Religious freedom is always brought up in a discussion about anti-discrimination laws like the equality act, marriage equality, and many more things. Let's analyze this argument and look at what religious freedom is.

First, let's look at what religious freedom is. Religious freedom is the freedom for someone to practice religion or carry beliefs. The notable thing here is that religious freedom is not the freedom to harm others. If it was your religious belief that robbing shops were a good thing you would still be arrested for robbery.

Discrimination does cause harm so religious freedom should not apply here. For example, 50% of Americans live in states where they can be denied housing or evicted over them being LGBT+. This lack of protection has been abused. For example, a gay couple was denied a house over their sexuality. Also, LGBT+ students have been kicked out of colleges and prevented from graduating. Also before the Bostock v. Clayton ruling, LGBT+ people could have and have been fired over being LGBT+. On top of that studies have found discrimination affects mental health. Check out our article here for more information on the damages of discrimination.

This religious freedom argument also falls apart when we compare it to other situations. For example, religious freedom being used to justify racism today is largely not a debate. In the past religious freedom was used to justify racism. Racism and queerphobia are quite similar with both attacking core attributes that don't affect anyone else and were not chosen by the person to have. Why do many people think it's ok to discriminate based on LGBT+ status, not racial status. It's almost as if anti-LGBT+ people don't care about logic and just want to discriminate.

Going forward we need to realize that the religious freedom argument is just a cover for LGBT+ discrimination and that it's little different from when religious freedom was used to justify racism. Discrimination is a thing that causes real harm and we must work to stop it.