Increasingly, individuals and other entities claim their religious beliefs justify various actions, even when the actions impact others.  This can be seen when some businesses claim a right to discriminate against LGBTQ people and others in the provision of goods and services and when health care providers impose religiously-based restrictions on the services and information offered to patients.  

Will you oppose attempts to use religion as a license for discrimination prohibited by the Illinois Human Rights Act? If so, how?  If no, why not? 


ERIKA HAROLD:

DID NOT RESPOND.


BUBBA HARSY:

I will oppose the attempts to use religion as a license for discrimination. That being said, I believe a property owner or a business owner engaging in a public service has the right to refuse service to anyone as long as it is not based on discriminatory practices. Any businesses accused of discriminatory practices will be investigated and handled accordingly based on the results of the investigation. It is worth mentioning that a church should not be forced to marry individuals they are not comfortable marrying. Some churches refuse to marry individuals for a variety of reasons, and they should have the freedom to make those decisions. 

KWAME RAOUL: 

The Illinois Human Rights Act, like the First Amendment, protects religious belief, but it does not give license to unlawful acts, including discrimination. In the General Assembly, I co-sponsored the expansion of the Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation as grounds upon which discrimination is prohibited. I also supported clarifications to the Healthcare Right of Conscience Act that protected a patient’s right to receive information about how to access care. A healthcare provider should not be forced to perform a procedure or provide a treatment that violates his or her conscience, but the exercise of this personal belief must never burden the rights of others. I will continue to advocate for legislation and policies that strike a similar balance, and I will defend in court a woman’s right to make informed healthcare choices against attempts to intrude on this personal decision-making, whether or not they are motivated by religious belief. I will also fight the Trump administration’s “gag rule” and other attempts to limit the information and care women can receive.


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