A woman who has been feeding the homeless has cleverly used the controversial Religious Freedom Bill to counterattack the police when they served her a citation prohibiting her acts of generosity.
A Texas woman chef who was serving the homeless with restaurant-quality food for free was stopped by the local law enforcement. However, the determined Samaritan has turned a "religious freedom" bill on its head when she told police this week that the controversial legislation protects her right to feed the homeless in her city.
Joan Cheever has been serving restaurant-quality, wholesome meals to homeless people from her non-profit truck, dubbed the "The Chow Train," in a desolate downtown San Antonio park for 10 years. However, the police did not perceive her act kindly and instead issued her a citation for allegedly serving food without a permit. The citation could cost Joan in upwards of $2,000 if she continues her philanthropic acts. Not the one to give up, Joan has flung the controversial Religious Freedom bill in the faces of the cops.
"I have a legal right to do this. As a Catholic, my charitable acts are how I pray and so they should be protected under the act."
The so-called "religious freedom" bills that Cheever has used to seek refuge, has sparked controversy in recent months owing to its misuse. Allegedly quite a few small-time Christian small-business owners proclaimed they have the right to refuse services to the LGBT community, such as baking their wedding cakes or photographing the big day. Indiana's bill, in particular, stuck out like a sore thumb as advocacy groups around the country challenged it, saying it was a thinly veiled attempt to grossly legalize cultural and ethnic discrimination.
Despite Indiana significantly watering down its bill after boycotts and protests, at least 28 states have introduced similar legislation, according to the Human Rights Commission, which many claim violates the very essence of equality. However, Cheever explains that using the bill, she is merely offering a decent chance to the hungry and homeless.
"I am not enabling people on the street. I am just trying to give them a safe, hot, and catered meal until they can get their life together. I should be writing you all a citation for violating the 1st amendment, the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Texas Religious Freedom act that protects our right to share food."The chef has already decided to fight the law that has stopped her from feeding the homeless and will challenge the citation.
[Image Credit | David Davies/Flickr]