Watch: AOC Calls Out Religious Freedom Advocates on Pride Month for Using Scripture To ‘Justify Bigotry’
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has not built a reputation for herself by mincing words and staying quiet. On the contrary, the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district is known for her activism and fearless statements on-and-off the Capitol floor.
In celebration of Pride month, AOC reposted one of her speeches from “The Administration’s Religious Liberty Assault on LGBTQ Rights” in February of 2020. In the clip, she condemns “religious liberty” advocates of “weaponizing” and “abusing” scripture to “justify bigotry.”
The internet, of course, has responded. Many celebrated the Bronx native and shared the video across social media; others criticized her. Many pointed out how LGBTQI people continue to be turned away from healthcare, among other areas, due to their sexual identity.
Breaking Down “religious liberty” and how it affects LGBTQI rights
Let’s face it, 2020 was a challenging year overall. But before the COVID-19 pandemic shook us to our core, Congress dealt with an issue still prevalent today: “religious liberty” keeping LGBTQI patients from receiving proper medical care.
Now, let’s break down what this means. According to the American Bar Association, religious individuals have refused to treat LGBTQI people because they say it infringes on their religious liberty. Sometimes, they have sought exemptions from state and federal laws protecting LGBTQI people to keep them from treating patients that identify as such.
The term was prevalent during Donald Trump‘s presidency to attack LGBTQI rights. In Mississippi, bills like the “Religious Accommodations Act” or “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” were passed, with more following nationwide.
In May 2017, Trump signed an executive order asking his Attorney General to support and defend religious freedom laws. Then, in July that same year, he tweeted a ban on transgender military service members.
Here’s a video of Trump himself talking about religious freedom:
Religious freedom laws even extended to contracts for placing adoptive or foster care children in private agencies, with placements within LGBTQI families being refused due to the agencies’ religious objections.
Statistics by the Movement Advancement Project report that 1 in 8 LGBTQ people live in states where doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals can refuse treatment.
The list goes on and on.
Yet, in 2020, Congress met to discuss the constitutionality of these actions.
AOC cites how White supremacists and slaveowners also quoted scripture to justify their actions
On February 27, 2020, the House Oversight and Reform Committee gathered to discuss “The Administration’s Religious Liberty Assault on LGBTQ Rights.” Among the members of Congress present were Mike Kelly, Sean Maloney, Joseph Kennedy and Mark Takano.
In response to the testimony given by the witnesses, Ocasio-Cortez addressed the GOP’s “religious freedom” arguments. Stating that “the only time religious freedom is invoked is in the name of bigotry and discrimination.”
Starting her arguments, she mentioned being torn on whether to address the hearing as a “legislator” or “from the perspective of a woman of faith.”
“It’s very difficult to sit here and listen to arguments in the long history of this country…of weaponizing and abusing scripture to justify bigotry,” she said. “White supremacists have done it, those who justified slavery did it, those who fought against integration did it, and we’re seeing it today.”
Adding that if Jesus Christ had walked through the doors of Congress, he would have been “maligned as a radical and rejected.” Then, she quoted several lines of scriptures, leading her to add that faith loves all “unconditionally.”
She closed her statement with a poignant reminder of the meaning of the word “holy.”
“There is nothing holy about rejecting medical care of people…turning someone away from a hospital….rejecting a child from a family. There is nothing holy about writing discrimination into the law.”
The entire speech can be seen here:
People on social media are saying “amen” to AOC’s resurfaced video
After Ocasio-Cortez shared the clip of her statement on Twitter, people on social media shared their support for her.
On TikTok, one user wrote, “She reminds me of Jacinda, Prime Minister of New Zealand. Both are amazing women, and the kind of energy we need in political bodies. ♥️☮️.” Another chimed in with, “thank you for standing up for this! 🥰🥰 sincerely a parent of trans youth.”
Twitter users shared photos of AOC at a Pride parade in Queens, New York.
With others calling for “More #Pride and less hate.”
Others quoted her video verbatim.
But this IG caption pretty much sums it all up.
Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org