ACLU Attorney: Religious Liberty Laws Could Let Husbands Hit Their Wives

AP Photo/Doug McSchooler
AP Photo/Doug McSchooler

An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney said Friday that Louisiana’s proposed religious liberty bill could allow husbands to hit their wives and would “dismantle the Louisiana legal system.”

As reported at, ACLU attorney Marjorie Esman said regarding husbands, “He could say ‘It is my moral conviction that my spouse can submit to discipline from me.’ … It basically dismantles the Louisiana legal system. The whole criminal code goes out the window.”

Leftwing opponents of religious freedom legislation are continuing a trail of fear mongering that led Indiana lawmakers and Gov. Mike Pence (R) to cave to demands to change that state’s law last week.

Michael Reed, Communications Director for Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) said in a statement sent to Breitbart News that Esman’s comment is “an example of the absurdity of the Left and the length they will go to spread lies about laws to protect individual religious rights from adverse action by government.”

“This comment is shockingly reprehensible – but fortunately quite absurd and misinformed,” Reed added.

House Bill 707, introduced by Louisiana state Rep. Mike Johnson (R), would create the “Marriage and Conscience Act,” and “create a cause of action for the protection of the right of conscience as relates to marriage.”

“House Bill 707 doesn’t change any law to allow people or businesses to do anything that is currently against the law, be it spousal abuse, or breaking and entering, or jaywalking,” continued Reed. “The bill that has been filed simply ensures the state cannot deny a license, certification, accreditation, contract, etc. to an individual or business on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief about marriage.”

In a written statement to, Johnson said the ACLU and those supporting the militant LGBT agenda “are intentionally engaging in a campaign of fear, intimidation and misinformation about this bill.”

“The language of HB 707 is very clear: it is squarely and only about preventing the government from discriminating against any citizen for their views about marriage,” he added.

According to, the Human Rights Campaign—advocate for the LGBT agenda—wants Louisiana lawmakers to kill the religious freedom bill themselves, but they’re willing to contact national business and industry groups such as Walmart and others that forced Indiana lawmakers to cave on their bill for fear of damaging the state’s economy.

“If the Legislature takes up the bill and starts seriously considering it, then we would consider something,” said Sarah Warbelow, who leads the legal team at the Human Rights Campaign. “Many state legislatures have chosen not to take [similar bills] up.”

Politico’s chief political columnist Roger Simon also did his share of fear mongering this week by referring to religious freedom laws as a “poison pill” bogeyman for Republicans.

“There is a poison pill inside the Republican Party and if its presidential hopefuls keep swallowing it, they are going to choke off their chances for the White House,” Simon warned ominously. “The religious right has managed to convince some potential candidates that it is extremely powerful. It has convinced the more gullible ones that they must grovel, kowtow and genuflect before it.”

Last week, Breitbart News Senior Editor-At-Large Ben Shapiro observed the consequences states such as Indiana suffer when they cave to the demands of the left.

Shapiro said that, as a result of changing its law:

…Indiana actually enshrined more special rights for gays and lesbians than had existed before the RFRA was passed. Indiana law made no reference to sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination statutes prior to the RFRA; now the RFRA itself will be used as a weapon against religious Americans in Indiana who believe that homosexuality is a sin, since the law affirmatively prohibits a religious freedom defense with regard to failure to serve gays and lesbians.


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