The first step toward religious persecution is identification, and that is exactly what Senator Morgan Carroll wants to force hospitals to do that don’t perform abortions or provide other services based on “religious beliefs or moral convictions.” SB 93, her bill that passed the Colorado state senate on along a party line vote, would require:
A hospital…shall provide notice in a manner, specified by the Department of Public Health and Environment, of all services that the hospital refuses to provide because of religious beliefs or moral convictions. The hospital shall provide the notice required by this section prior to or at admission of the patient or as soon after admission as is practicable.
In a Colorado Observer article, Carroll acknowledges that her bill is “controversial” but that it is really about “disclosing the truth” and “transparency.” Carroll employs feel good reasons for her required religious identification.
The justification reminds COST of how the Taliban explained a May 2001 edict requiring Afghan Hindus to wear identification. ABC News reported that Taliban officials claimed it was for Hindus own safety:
Munawaar Hasan, general secretary of a major Islamic political party called Jamaat-e-Islami, or Islamic Party, said the move seems aimed to give protection to Hindus. ‘The Taliban should win praise for this step,’ he said. ‘Providing protection to religious minorities is a must in any Islamic country and this step seems in line with this concept.’
ABC News quoted a Hindu living in Kabul, the capitol city, who had a different perspective:
Anar, an Afghan Hindu in Kabul who uses just one name, said he does not want to wear a label identifying him as Hindu. ‘It will make us vulnerable and degrade our position in the society,’ he said.
International observers agreed with Anar claiming the real reason was to segregate and isolate Hindus.
Carroll gives away her real reason for the religious identification requirement as the Observer reports:
Faith-based hospitals may have policies that conflict with reproductive health care choices of women and HIV treatment and protection services sought by gay men, said Carroll. In addition, same sex couples may not be allowed to visit their partners who are hospitalized.
SB 93 is more about Carroll’s moral beliefs, and a hospital that disagrees with her must identify itself. It’s not a stretch to assume that Carroll would like these hospitals to be marginalized. The first step is identification.
SB 93 is a perversion of the term “transparency” as it applies to government, which was a trend for citizens to watch government not government forced religious identification.
COST is confident that this bill will die in the Republican-controlled House, but the fact that every Democrat in the state senate voted “yes” should frighten all Coloradans.
Hear constitutional scholar Rob Natelson’s take on SB 93 on the Amy Oliver Show on News Talk 1310 KFKA.