A report issued by the United States Commission on Civil Rights on how best to balance emerging civil rights with religious liberty upsets a Nebraska senator.
U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse calls the Commission on Civil Rights’ report entitled “Peaceful Coexistence” bizarre.
“And this report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and I hesitate to even call it that, because the commission has drifted so far from its fundamental purpose, it appears to be explaining why the First Amendment is, in their view, a bad idea,” Sasse tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The report’s full title is “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.”
It attempts to clarify how to settle disputes between emerging civil rights, such as those by the LBGT community, and counter claims based on religious liberty.
The report states, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.”
Commission chairman, Martin Castro, wrote in a separate statement, “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”
Sasse says, in attempting to find a balance, the commission reveals a disturbingly low view of religious liberty or even the freedom to disagree on profound topics.
“Actually, that’s the whole point of America is that we defend each other’s rights to be free from violence when we say things that others might disagree with.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]
Sen. Sasse spoke on the Senate floor on this issue.