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Republican Lawmakers Use Chipotle to Defend 'Religious Freedom'

Chipotle's not too happy about being used to justify potential discrimination.

Mike Mozart/Flickr

The GOP is so hip and with it, they're now attempting to justify their shitty policy proposals by using beloved burrito hawker Chipotle as an example.

In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma and and Representative Randy Forbes of Virginia argue that since Chipotle can remove carnitas from its menu when pork suppliers don't meet its welfare standards, businesses should be permitted to make decisions based on religion.

"It is crucial that the same freedom of conscience enjoyed by the leadership of Chipotle remain equally available to business owners of faith," Lankford and Forbes write. "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."

The Week points out that "Lankford and Forbes don't mention specific issues they believe should be protected, but some believe their argument refers to businesses being able to oppose serving same-sex customers." Chipotle clearly isn't too pleased with being used as an example, telling The Huffington Post, "It’s a pretty ridiculous comparison. Our decision not to serve pork that doesn’t meet our standards isn’t discriminating against any customers or group of customers."

Following an incident in which a Denver cake shop refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple, the Colorado legislature recently confirmed that "religious beliefs are not an acceptable reason to deny service to anyone." If Lankford and Forbes have it their way, it would be perfectly legal for business owners to refuse service based on sexual orientation.