Chris Christie: Businesses Shouldn’t Hide Behind “Religious Liberty” To Discriminate

GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie broke ranks with other Republicans yesterday at the Iowa State Fair on the issue of religious liberty. While speaking at the Des Moines Register’s Presidential Soapbox, Christie was asked whether or not businesses should be allowed to discriminate against the LGBT community based on religious beliefs. Christie responded:

“We have a system of laws in this country, and those laws need to be followed.And the fact is, religious organizations should be protected from having to do anything that violates their religious beliefs as a religious organization. That should be protected.

But other businesses who want to do business, they should have to be able to do business under the laws of our country. When I take an oath of office as governor, my oath of office is to enforce the laws of the state of New Jersey. Not the laws I like or the laws that I agree with, but all the laws.

And if we don’t want to have a country of men and women but a country of laws, where everyone is treated equally, that’s what we need to do. And so religious organizations absolutely should be protected, everyone should freely practice their religion the way they see fit, but businesses should not be allowed to discriminate, no.”

Which is not spectacularly specific, but it’s sure better than, say, Ted Cruz, who has been hammering on religious liberty so hard that he released a campaign ad on the topic, even including an appearance from the Oregon bakers who refused to provide a wedding cake for a lesbian couple (and were fined for it).

It’s difficult to figure out where exactly, for Christie, religious liberties end and protections against discrimination begin, but it is at least refreshing to hear from a GOP candidate who acknowledges that civil rights are complex, and that we have laws to protect them for a reason.

 

[The Advocate]

[Slate]

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