Letter: Best advice: Focus on your own family

From: Mark Duwe


In a recent article about the Columbus Human Rights Ordinance and its protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered residents there was this statement: “In earlier interviews, attorney Jim Bopp said the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are particularly concerned about Columbus’ ordinances because it does not allow for any religious exceptions to the sexual orientation and gender identity protections.”

Note to the Indiana Family Institute: A religious exception would amount to legalized discrimination, which would basically negate the ordinance. Also, any religious exception would be unconstitutional. All laws must have secular value. They may also have religious value, but a law that has only religious value is unconstitutional. A religious exception to the Columbus Human Rights Ordinance would be unconstitutional because it would violate the establishment clause.

Courts will commonly use something called “the Lemon test” to decide if a law violates the “establishment clause.” This comes from a case called Lemon v. Kurtzman (look it up). Some people (radio talk show hosts) have been telling people that they can ignore the separation of church and state and still enjoy religious liberty. Of course, they won’t use those same words all in a row like that. This is false. It is the wall of separation that assures you religious liberty will be enjoyed by all and equally.

I saw a bumper sticker once that summed it all up pretty well: “Focus on your own family.”