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Religious liberty bill draws LGBT fire in Florida

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida, October 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A bill to guarantee business owners religious liberty is under fire days after being introduced in the Florida legislature.

Last week, State Rep. Julia Gonzalez sponsored House Bill 101, which would guarantee the liberty to refuse to "produce, create, or deliver a product or service" to business owners, other individuals, religious organizations, and health care groups if doing so would violate religious or moral beliefs.

"There have been various situations where there are increasing possibilities of subsections of society having their religious freedoms encroached on," Gonzalez told The Herald Tribune. "Over time it became obvious to me we need to adopt some statutory protections."

LGBT activists have pushed back hard against Gonzalez, declaring the bill protection of bigotry. Parts of Gonzalez's bill "are almost comically evil," according to  Slate's Mark Stern, who also said that the bill is "a plainly malicious, proudly discriminatory, profoundly malefic measure." 

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If signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, the bill would be a stark contrast to the states and municipalities that have disallowed or drastically limited how and when socially conservative views on marriage can be espoused. 

The Herald Tribune reports that Gonzalez's bill would allow adoption agencies liberty to decide who is best to adopt children, and businesses with five owners or fewer the liberty to decide with whom they wish to do business.

Health care agencies are allowed to refuse to "administer, recommend or deliver a medical treatment" unless a patient's life or health is in serious danger.

The law is similar to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that caused an enormous furor in Indiana. That state's Republican governor was quickly pressured into neutering the law, and one business temporarily closed due to death threats.

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