Religion? Or Discrimination?

What if I think my religion condemns homosexuality?

The US Constitution says the government must not interfere with my right freely to practice my religion.  Does that mean I have a right to discriminate against homosexuals?

Thanks to liberal watchdog Texas Freedom Network, we see a case from San Antonio that forces us to confront this dilemma.

According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the Texas-based Liberty Institute has complained about a proposed city ordinance in San Antonio.  The proposed ordinance would extend the city council’s non-discrimination rule to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Conservative Christians have complained that this expanded rule would effectively prohibit them from the free practice of their religion.

Such issues often wend their way through education debates.  For instance, religious conservatives in America have warned against the “homosexual agenda” in public education.  In this CitizenLink video, for example, conservative Christian commentators explain the “sneaky” nature of pro-homosexual ideology in America’s schools.  Conservatives have repeatedly scoured their school libraries and classrooms for books that cram a “gay is okay” message down the throats of unsuspecting schoolkids.

Thinking conservatives have complained that sexual orientation and gender identity are not simply the newest civil-rights issue.  In cities with an anti-discrimination rule, would conservative opposition to homosexuality become illegal?  Would conservative Christians find themselves forced to choose between the free practice of their religion and their observation of the law?

The San Antonio City Council has found itself in the thick of this dilemma.  By proposing a ban on anti-gay discrimination, are they unintentionally proposing a ban on many conservative Christians?  Are they trampling conservative constitutional rights in an effort to protect the rights of homosexuals?