Rep. Gordon Denlinger Invents Fake Freedom to Discriminate

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Rep. Gordon Denlinger wants to codify the bizarre Republican definition of discrimination in the Pennsylvania Constitution:

Republican Rep. Gordon Denlinger, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy, an elder in the Zeltenreich Reformed Church of New Holland, Pa., is circulating a memo seeking co-sponsors for his effort.

“Specifically, I plan to propose a new section in Article I – the Pennsylvania ‘bill of rights’ – that will prohibit government from punishing an individual or entity if the individual or entity makes hiring or other employment decisions, or provides services, accommodations (including housing accommodations), advantages, facilities, goods or privileges based on sincerely held beliefs,” the memo says.

Denlinger calls his proposal the “Freedom of Conscience Amendment.”

In other words, those whose conscience suggests that they act contrary to nondiscriminatory statutes are free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, free at last to do so.

Under this proposal, employers, storeowners, realtors, motel managers, etc., could deny jobs, groceries, homes or rooms to anyone (tall, short, pregnant, Catholic, Jewish, gay, Goth, Democrat, newspaper columnist) offending their beliefs.

Just as long as such beliefs are “sincerely held.”

To Denlinger, the real victims here aren’t the people getting unjustly fired or refused service by bigots. The victims are the bigots who might get sued for doing that stuff!

Also gotta love that it’s “sincerely held” beliefs and not just religious beliefs. So if somebody has a sincere belief that black people and white people shouldn’t eat in the same restaurants, he can refuse black people service and get away with it.


(via John Baer)

This entry was posted in Civil Rights.

3 Responses to Rep. Gordon Denlinger Invents Fake Freedom to Discriminate

  1. Julieann Wozniak says:

    Tea Partiers like to wave their pocket Constitutions in our faces and screech freedom at the top of their lungs. Unfortunately, they and their bigoted ilk sincerely believe that only white old (and wealthy) men deserve equal protection under the law. They tell us we are impinging on their freedom of religion when they are shoving their stinted beliefs down our throats. They cry “second amendment rights” while violating our rights to be free of the fear that comes when guns are waved in our faces. I’m sick of it and sick of them. Who do they think they are? Why do their rights supersede mine?

    • Shellie says:

      Oh Darlin’,
      You are definitely preaching to the choir.
      It is so hard to believe that these closed minded, homophobic, masogynistic, (sp) old white men are trouncing on the memories of our civil rights leaders. It is starting to feel like they died in vain.
      Gee, I wonder what the second amendment rights screamers would say could have stopped the murders in Columbia, MD this past weekend?
      So many of us are sick of them and their twisting of our rights.

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m sure he has no problem with that standard being applied to say – the children of the very tiny Zeltenreich Reformed Church when they mature and venture off to apply to college or go visit other locales and need lodging, meal or wish to visit a library or museum. Surely they must appear rather cultish to others in other locales from more mainstream religions or non believers.

    Tough luck having to face such opprobrium and be stuck spending a night on the street in the big city – but – them’s the breaks. “Sincerely held beliefs” trump simple human dignity, kindness and equal access to the free marketplace.

    I doubt they’re well prepared for the experience of discrimination. Might be a learning experience.