Republicans compare discriminating against gays to buying ethically-sourced meat

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Two Republican Members of Congress have compared businesses who want to discriminate against gays to a restaurant chain ethically sourcing meat.

US Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma and Representative Randy Forbes of Virginia made the claim in an article for the Washington Examiner, in support of ‘religious freedom’ bills that would exempt business owners from anti-discrimination laws.

The pair referenced the decision of burrito chain Chipotle to pull a pork supplier over inhumane standards of animal care.

They wrote: “Despite the possibility that Chipotle’s decision to pull pork from almost a third of its restaurants will come at a cost, the corporation’s commitment to serving “food with integrity” has outweighed its quest for financial gain.

“Chipotle’s founder and CEO, Steve Ells, has made a decision to commit to self-imposed standards, which he personally finds important, enabling him to live out his commitment to environmental care and sustainability through how he runs his business.”

The pair continue: “Is a wonderful thing that individuals are not only able to start and build a business in their chosen trade, but they are also free to structure that business in a way that reflects their personal beliefs and values.

“It is crucial that the same freedom of conscience enjoyed by the leadership of Chipotle remain equally available to business owners of faith.

“Indeed, much more so, as freedom of religion is explicitly protected by the First Amendment.

“We cannot simultaneously laud the leaders of a business motivated by a commitment to environmental sustainability and discriminate against the leaders of a business motivated by religious belief.

“If a decision based on moral convictions is celebrated, shouldn’t a decision based on the free exercise of religion – a right guaranteed in the Constitution – be even more so?”

(h/t Towleroad)