Religious Freedom and Indiana…

March 30, 2015 3:58pm
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So I’ve been pretty engaged about this one over the last couple of days.

I’ve run two different humor pieces about it on Just Laugh:

I was proud to see that fellow humorist and writer friend Erik Deckers took a personal stand and backed down from a writing gig that he had held for the last six years promoting tourism around Indiana, as well as some companies like and organizations like GenCon that are willing to move their financial influences elsewhere in response to the new law.

I’m also currently in a heated and increasingly bizarre argument with one of my uncles on Facebook that seems to imply that he himself personally gets inundated with lots and lots of gay sex because he’s quite adamant that “he doesn’t care – just keep it out of his face” … so there’s that! 😕

And I know that there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation floating around, particularly many that claim that the same laws exist already in another 19 states and was also introduced federally by Bill Clinton in 1993 … except that neither of these is actually true when you consider the political makeup and other laws on the books in those other scenarios. It gets ugly and complicated and much more than anyone could fit into a single soundbite when we factor in protected discrimination classes and rights of persons vs businesses and even simply the starkly different landscape that existed some 20 years ago when Bill Clinton was president.

At the end of the day, the spirit is still undeniably ugly and it continuously shocks me that we’re still having to fight and debate over something as clear cut as discrimination like this over and over again. It’s like the right attempting to defend religion doesn’t even acknowledge that another side exists – that for the baker to deny a cake to a gay couple also means that on the other side of the counter was a couple discriminated against due to their sexual preference.

As the old saying goes, I can explain it for you, but I can’t understand it for you.

The tricky part is, I’m sure there are some religious minorities that aren’t feeling the protection that they deserve for their beliefs as well, but we have to be honest here when we’re talking about this bill because with so many supporters of the new law being quite specifically anti-gay marriage, it should be a surprise to no one that the intent of this bill – as much as Gov. Pence wants to shake his head no – is directly in response to all of the progress that has been made with gay marriage across the landscape in recent years.

It’s funny because I watched the ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulus in which he was asked no less than five times and wouldn’t answer the specific question, “If a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple, is that now legal in Indiana?” and his awkward defiance makes it clear as day what his opinion on this is, even if he dares not to speak the words into a microphone.

With all sincerity, I hope that this one burns on and continues to spark the debate because we’ve still got a long ways to go. People need to learn that their freedom of religion doesn’t give them the right to discriminate against others and that these types of practices are not what our founding fathers intended when these United States were formed. The USA isn’t a country where you should be judged walking into a store and we’ve supported that missive many times before. There’s no logical reason why the same shouldn’t extend to gay men and women just the same, and the fact that the religious right is now playing the victim card that they’re somehow being marginalized by the minority speaks volumes to which way the war is trending.

Like I’ve said a thousand times before, I think one day equal rights for gay people will just be another ugly scar in history that we reflect on and look past – I just wish for everyone who’s affected by it more than I am that it would all happen sooner rather than later because if we’re not fair and equal with how we treat one another, what’s the sense of all the rest that we strive for as Americans, really???

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