It’s on, y’all, the attack on The Gays … with the extra added bonus of attacking those of different faiths, ethnicities, or even genders.
With the passage of marriage equality nationwide being tackled by the US Supreme Court soon, the newest battleground for our community, and others, is discrimination … religious based discrimination because, you know, God is all about discrimination, at least when it’s aimed at the LGBT community.
And here’s how many states are doing it …
Around the nation — from Georgia to Indiana to Idaho to Arkansas and elsewhere — the newest form of legalized discrimination comes in the form of the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” or RFRA. An RFRA requires the state government to have a “compelling interest” before it can “substantially burden” or ban a so-called “personal religious practice.”
Well, isn’t that special? But then, who gets to decide what counts as a burden? No one seems to know; and most in favor of these bills, the GOP more often than not, don’t really care as long as people can say God made them hate fags because most of these bills would allow individuals to use their religion to challenge, or just plain ignore, existing state and local laws, many of which protect LGBT citizens from discrimination.
And if you think this kind of legalized hate will stop at The Gays, think again. The Bible-thumping owner of any business providing a secular — non-religious — service could sue claiming that their personal faith empowers them to refuse to hire, sell to, cater to, make a cake for, and arrange flowers for, a member of the LGBT community. But, and here’s where it will get uglier, business owners can also, if they choose, use these RFRAs to discriminate against say, Jews, divorcees, Muslims, other faiths, or mixed race couples.
And by passing an RFRA, the state puts the power to decide what constitutes religious discrimination in the hands of its own Supreme Court. Now, while that sounds all well and good, remember that most state Supreme Courts reflect the leanings of the state as a whole, meaning a gay couple in Mississippi, or South Carolina, might have a harder time proving discrimination, or even arguing discrimination, than a gay couple in New York or California.
Add to the RFRAs the notion that some states are trying to pass bills that focus on marriage-related services. In Arkansas, for example, a bill would allow businesses to refuse service to any couple to whom the owner objected to their marriage. Yes, a business owner doesn’t like the fact that you, a gay couple, a mixed race couple, a mixed faith couple, are legally married, so they can deny you service; any service.
America the beautiful.
In Oklahoma and South Carolina, potential legislation could actually a state employee from issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples; and that legislation could prevent them from collecting their salaries or pensions if they do so.
Am I the only one that think that sounds like state-sanctioned blackmail because, well, God?
This is what America might look like, simply because many in the GOP-controlled legislatures of certain states don’t like the idea of The Gays getting married. We’ll become a country where a single person’s religious beliefs can trump the law. All you gotta do is say ‘God’ and you can get away with hate.