A Dangerous Step

Under the current political climate, certain legal actions have been taken that could potentially take away protections and rights from members of the LGBTQ community, causing a wave rightfully felt fear among many. There have been pushes by conservative Republicans and members of the religious right to enforce ideals of religious freedom and expression within public institutions. An article posted to a regional ABC News site writes that Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed State Bill 17 into law on March 16th. The bill was designed to protect the freedom of religious expression in public schools. While the protection of essential American freedoms are all well and good, this particular bill was written in such a way that causes concern for the affect of these religious expressions on other students. It would allow students to present religious or political beliefs through their clothing, homework, artwork, public messages. The article references other sources, stating that “Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said the bill would allow student groups to discriminate against LGBT students ‘under the guise of religion.'”(WTVQ News Desk). While inherent American rights should be protected, in prioritizing religious freedom, how can the rights–and lives–of LGBTQ members be equally protected? Freedom of religious expression should not outweigh inherent human rights that ought to protect individuals from hate and discrimination. Religious expression should not be neither an excuse nor a platform to preach hatred.