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ACT NOW: Tell Your State Senator: Oppose SB 2158 and Protect Civil Rights in Minnesota!

May 12, 2015

SB 2158 would open the door to discrimination.

Protect Civil Rights in Minnesota.

Tell Your Senator to Vote NO on SB 2158!

The Minnesota Senate recently introduced SB 2158, a bill that purports to protect “freedom of conscience,” but actually threatens the civil rights of Minnesotans. It opens the door to individuals, small businesses, and government employees to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against others.

This bill would allow religious entities, for-profit small businesses, and government employees to refuse to provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods or privileges for any purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage that is not between one man and one woman.

SB 2158 is designed to also allow businesses like florists, bakers, or photographers to refuse to provide their services for weddings to which they have personal religious objections. As a result, this bill could trump existing state and local non-discrimination laws prohibiting discrimination against same-sex individuals. This kind of discrimination is the very reason Indiana received enormous backlash when it initially passed its “religious freedom bill” that would have allowed religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate. Make sure Minnesota doesn’t receive that same criticism.

Not only that, but SB 2158 could provide a blanket exemption for all government employees to refuse to perform or issue marriage licenses in the name of religion. Government employees are paid by the taxpayer and should serve all people equally and fairly. Instead, this bill would allow government employees to treat some couples differently and discriminatorily.

Act now: Please contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee here and tell them:

“Please oppose SB 2158. This bill would allow discrimination against Minnesotans by allowing anyone, including small businesses and government employees, to refuse to participate or provide services in a marriage ceremony or celebration under the guise of religious freedom.  Vote NO on SB 2158 and protect civil rights and religious freedom in Minnesota!”

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