Religious Freedom Language Removed From Midway Fairness Proposal
A religious freedom provision similar to the language that sparked a nationwide backlash against a controversial Indiana bill was removed from a proposed Fairness Ordinance working its way through the Midway city council this week.
The Midway Messenger reports the council rejected the addition crafted by city attorney Phil Moloney over concerns that allowing business owners to refuse service because of “sincerely-held” religious beliefs would open the door for discrimination.
During a debate over the language, Finance, Ordinance and Policy Committee chair Dan Roller said he saw no need to include the amendment, adding that he didn’t recall “cakes or photography being discussed in the Bible” – referring to the wedding services that have become emblematic of the national debate over marriage and religious freedom.
Committee action on the ordinance was postponed until the local Human Rights Commission reviews the new draft and a public forum is held. If the council OKs the measure, Midway would become the eighth city in the state with an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.