New ‘Fairness for All’ Proposal Seeks Compromise Between Religious Liberty and Gay Rights

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | November 23, 2016

Earlier this year Christian colleges in California got a scare when a lawmaker introduced SB 1146, a proposal to deny state funding for schools that enforce religious beliefs around sexuality and gender, such as organizing bathrooms by biological gender or limiting married housing to those in a traditional marriage.

After outcry from religious leaders—including the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s (ERLC) Russell Moore, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Albert Mohler, and Trinity International University’s David Dockery—the bill was amended. The schools—including Biola University, California Baptist University, and Azusa Pacific University—now must disclose any exemption to anti-discrimination laws and report any expulsions on moral grounds to the state, but they won’t lose state funding.

While some are hopeful that the incoming Republican White House and Congress will safeguard religious liberties, others worry that the federal victories won’t protect religious organizations from state restrictions. California, for example, could simply re-consider the same bill in 2017.

In fact, 110 of the 137 candidates endorsed by Equality California (the organization that sponsored SB 1146) won at the federal, state, and local level. In North Carolina, the next governor will likely be Roy Cooper, who was endorsed by the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign (HRC)…

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