Yes, It Is Possible To Protect LGBT Rights Without Compromising Religious Freedom

In an article for The Atlantic, Emma Green asks whether it's possible to protect LGBT rights without compromising religious freedom. The answer, from our point of view, is an unequivocal yes.

Some context from the piece is below.

From The Atlantic:

The irony of gay marriage becoming legal in the United States is that it has made discrimination against LBGT people easier. For example: Many newlywed couples may be asking their employers for spousal benefits for the first time. Depending on where they live, it may or may not be illegal for that employer to respond by firing them—something that happened in a number of states in 2015. Some state legislatures have tentatively taken on this issue; Pennsylvania and Idaho, for example, both saw bills introduced in 2015. But in many places, these efforts are complicated by a tangled political question: Should these laws make exceptions for religious individuals and organizations that object to employing and providing services to gay people?

This question could produce some of the biggest political fights of 2016. Gay-rights advocates are planning to push hard for discrimination protections, while religious-liberty groups continue to raise concerns about protecting people’s freedom of conscience. Meanwhile, state-level legislators are caught in the middle, no longer able to avoid a contentious set of issues many would rather have ignored.

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The article is a good one, but the answer to Green's question lies in the very book that Christians who are preaching religious freedom are suppose to revere: the Bible. Jesus himself instructs God-fearing people to "Do to others as you would have them do to you." What he did not say was "Do to others as you would have them do to you, unless they happen to be gay. Then feel free to not rent them that apartment." 

Listen, anti-discrimination laws do not govern a person's beliefs or ability to practice religion. They come into effect when one person's belief systems directly harm the rights other individuals. These laws are the descendants of Jesus' own words, which call upon listeners to treat their neighbors with human dignity. Rather than calling the civil rights of the LGBT community a blow to religious liberty, anti-discrimination opponents should undertake a closer examination of their own faith.