Trump Administration Sides With Christian Photographer

We’ve heard time and again about Christian photographers, bakers, florists, and wedding chapel owners being dragged into court because they declined to take part in a same-sex wedding or ceremony.

Sometimes the Christian business owners win their cases. Other times they lose.

These court cases often center on local ordinances or state laws that give people special privileges or protections based on sexual-orientation or gender identity.

During the Obama Administration, we saw wave after wave of radical LGBT policies rolled out at the federal level.

However, we seem to be experiencing a little bit of a reprieve under the Trump Administration.

Recently the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in a federal court in Kentucky arguing that the government cannot force a Christian photographer to photograph a same-sex wedding.

Alliance Defending Freedom is handling a lawsuit on behalf of photographer Chelsey Nelson over the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro “Fairness Ordinance.”

The ordinance grants special rights and privileges to people based on sexual-orientation and gender identity.

In the federal government’s statement about the lawsuit, the U.S. Attorney General’s office wrote,

The United States is committed to protecting the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, which include both the right to “the free exercise” of religion and “the freedom of speech.” . . . These freedoms lie at the heart of a free society and are the “effectual guardian of every other right.”

The statement goes on to say that forcing Chelsey Nelson to photograph a same-sex wedding would violate her First Amendment rights and that she probably would win any court case over the issue.

We have said before that religious liberty is a casualty of the radical efforts to redefine marriage.

Thankfully, the federal government is siding withe people of faith right now.

Hopefully this court case will result in better protections for the free exercise of religion in the future.

Canada Wants Doctors Who are Less Conscientious

A legislative committee in Alberta, Canada, recently blocked a measure designed to protect physicians’ rights of conscience.

John Stonestreet with the Colson Center for Christian Worldview writes,

As one LGBT spokesperson said, “We really shouldn’t have been having this conversation in 2019.”

I guess that’s because religious liberty and freedom of conscience are so last-year.

To keep these pesky medical conscience bills from being necessary at all, one Canadian bioethicist suggested that would-be health professionals with religious or pro-life scruples shouldn’t be admitted into medical school in the first place!

As Udo Schuklenk told one Canadian website, “Medical schools, pharmacy schools, should go out of their way to basically eliminate applicants” who oppose such things as abortion and euthanasia. That’s because, he says, personal beliefs can’t trump patient well-being.

It may not raise too many eyebrows to see Canadian lawmakers refusing to enact conscience protections for doctors.

However, the Arkansas Legislature has failed to pass measures protecting healthcare workers’ rights of conscience two legislative sessions in row — once in 2017 and this year.

Conscience protections are important if for no other reason than the fact that without them we may end up with doctors who have no conscience at all. That’s a very sobering thought.

New Bill Would Protect Medical Professionals’ Rights of Conscience

Rep. Brandt Smith (R – Jonesboro)

Yesterday Rep. Brandt Smith (R – Jonesboro) filed the Medical Conscience Protection Act, H.B. 1289, protecting healthcare professionals’ rights of conscience.

This is a good bill that Family Council supports.

The bill protects healthcare workers and companies from being forced to take part in activities that violate their beliefs — like abortion.

H.B. 1289 clearly states that conscience is a fundamental right, and it protects healthcare professionals and companies from being penalized for following their beliefs.

The bill also contains reasonable safeguards to ensure conscience protections cannot be used to deny a person emergency medical care.

Arkansas law already offers good protections to doctors and nurses — especially when it comes to abortion — but does not give those same protections to social workers, CNAs, and others who work in the healthcare industry.

H.B. 1289 helps ensure no one can be forced to perform, pay for, or participate in a medical procedure that violates their beliefs.

You can thank Rep. Brandt Smith for sponsoring this bill by calling 870-351-7459 or emailing brandt.smith@arkansashouse.org.

You can leave a message asking your state representative to support H.B. 1289 by calling the Arkansas House of Representatives at (501) 682-6211.

You can read the Medical Conscience Protection Act here.