Okay, so Question 1 is a freedom of religion thing. Let’s follow that trail for a while.
If this is a freedom of religion thing, you’re going to have to claim that your religion includes in it a doctrine that says bosses should fire and landlords should evict LGBT people. Only then would the City Council’s additions to our anti-discrimination ordinance infringe upon your religious freedom.
To be clear, since we are talking about an “anti-discrimination” ordinance, the opposite of that would be “discrimination.” So in order for this to be an actual freedom of religion issue, active discrimination toward other people has to be a part of your faith.
Now, the source of doctrine for Christian people is the Bible. So what we’re looking for in the Bible is something that promotes discrimination. Maybe there’s a verse that says, “Thou shalt fire the lesbians among you,” or something like that. Maybe it says, “Thou shalt not rent an apartment to a gay man.” Or you know, some such applicable teaching.
The thing is … it just isn’t in there.
And so if it isn’t in the Bible, the primary source of religious doctrine for Christians, it had to come from some other source of authority. Maybe the doctrine came from a preacher, or a teacher, a denominational position, or some other secondary source. But it wasn’t the Bible. Maybe the preacher, teacher, or denomination is basing the doctrine on Scripture, but it is at best an interpretation.
So if Question 1 is a freedom of religion thing for you, that means you have heard from a teacher/preacher/denominational position that a part of what you are NOT to do in the practice of your religion is employ or rent to LGBT people. This is central enough to your faith that you are willing to propose a ballot initiative, sign a petition, take up valuable city resources on an election, buy a yard sign, etc. It is THAT important to you.
The thing is, all of that is still fine. You can base your religious teachings on anybody’s interpretation of any sacred text. Freedom of religion means ANY religion, and ANY version of ANY religion. Just ask a Pastafarian.
But freedom of religion has limits, and society sets those limits. Freedom of religion does not give you freedom to do harm against another person. And things like taking away someone’s job or evicting them from their home most definitely do harm. So, you can’t do it.
It’s really just that simple. It doesn’t matter if your religion gives you permission to do harm against another person. You can’t. You just can’t.
Even if commandment 73.5 of your sacred text actually is, “Thou shalt fire the lesbian.”
You just can’t.
Society places limits on freedom of religion, and one of those limits is that you can’t do harm to another person. At least that's what I believe, and that's one reason I'll be voting NO on question one.