It’s looking more and more like the the pro-discrimination bills in the North Carolina General Assembly masquerading as “religious freedom” proposals are — thank goodness — going nowhere. This morning, you can add the Greensboro News & Record and the Winston-Salem Journal to the list of major news outlets issuing condemnations.
Here’s the N&R in an editorial entitled: “Don’t follow Indiana”:
A Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been introduced in both the N.C. House and Senate, and our state’s Republican governor says he won’t support it.
We urge the North Carolina sponsors to look at Indiana, listen to McCrory and withdraw their bills before any harm is done here….
Large corporations are making it clear they expect their employees and partners — all of them — to be treated fairly in Indiana. Some already are saying the same about North Carolina. The politicians who claim to be ushering in business-friendly policies should be careful that some of their actions aren’t seen as hostile to 21st century corporations.
Indiana Republicans now say they’ll “clarify” their new law, which they insist has been misinterpreted. Actually, it’s seen very clearly for what it is.
We hope and trust McCrory will veto a similar bill in North Carolina, but it will be shameful enough if such a measure even reaches his desk.
And this is from a Journal editorial entitled “‘Religious freedom’ bills would open door to discrimination”:
“State Sen. Joyce Krawiec of Kernersville, a sponsor of the bill, told the Journal’s Arika Herron in an email that ‘…we have an obligation to make sure that North Carolinians’ religious rights are protected.’
But the Constitution already guarantees that. What it most certainly doesn’t guarantee is the right to discriminate against others.
Given our history in the South, we have a healthy fear of any law that might be used to bar members of certain groups from businesses. Blacks rightly won that fight.
Opening the door now to legalized discrimination against any group would take us back toward an uncomfortable and unjust past. As we’ve written before, a separatist society is a greater threat to North Carolina than same-sex marriage ever could be. Inclusion enriches our state, allowing commerce to flow more freely, allowing contributions to society from more quarters and promoting individual freedom.
If our legislature continues on this destructive path, it had best be ready for the backlash.”