Monday, April 04, 2016

Hate Bills: Bad News, Good News

Those darned religious Freedom Restoration Acts [RFRAs] are everywhere.

Georgia tried to legislate discrimination using the Bible, and their governor, Nathan Deal, vetoed the bill … using the very same Bible as his reasoning for not allowing discrimination. And North Carolina Republicans did it, and their GOP governor, Pat McCrory, signed it into law instantly because, he thought, that would stop the argument; tell that to the long list of multi-million dollar corporations  demanding he repeal the law and the dozen or so states and cities that are no longer traveling to his state, including, perhaps, the federal government.

So, is that gonna stop any of these other states from trying to pass hate Bills.

Not Mississippi — where I was born, but moved from at age six months before the stupid stuck.

The GOP-dominated House of Representatives in that state voted last Friday to advance what many say is the most hate-filled anti-LGBT legislation in the country. The vote — 69-44 — sent the bill, which had already passed in the Senate, to Governor Phil Bryant, though a last ditch effort by the more reasonable thinking Democrats … Vote Blue! Vote Blue! … caused a delay requiring another vote today. This effort might give enough time for the people in Mississippi who believe in treating everyone equally a chance to convince Bryant, who hasn’t said he’ll sign the bill but has said he believes people of faith need “protection”, not to sign the Hate Law.

House Bill 1523—the Hate Bill—protects individuals, religious organizations, and certain businesses who cite religion as a reason to deny LGBT Mississippians services, and would keep them safe from government retribution. It also allows those who use faith as a weapon the right to deny LGBT citizens access to counseling services, foster care, and adoption services; religious wingnuts county clerks can also recuse themselves from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The bill protects businesses that provide photography, poetry, videography, disc-jockey services, wedding planning, printing, floral arrangements, dress making, cake or pastry, artistry, wedding-venue rentals, limousine, car-service rentals, jewelry sales and services, or similar marriage-related services from having to do business with The Gays.

In addition, the government also could not penalize a religious organization for denying housing, employment, or services. And it protects people who believe “sexual relations are reserved” to opposite-sex marriages, and that being male or female is “objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth” and enforces sex-specific policies for employee or student dress or grooming, or concerning access to restrooms, showers, dressing rooms, or locker rooms.

It protects those who decline treatments, counseling, or surgeries related to sex reassignment or gender, identity transitioning, psychological, counseling, or fertility services. 
It’s just a complete anti-LGBT hate bill because Mississippi has no law banning LGBT discrimination.

Those on the side of Hate say this is just about same-sex marriage, and allowing people of faith not to have to do business with same-sex couples, but, um, why then does it include provisions for adoption, or fostering children? Why bathrooms and locker rooms and housing and employment discrimination? Why does it allow faith-based discrimination — an oxymoron if I ever heard one — in medical services?

It’s simple … because Gay.

Again, we can hope that Governor Bryant goes the way of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal or the way of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe who, last week, also vetoed a so-called “religious freedom” bill that came across his desk:
“This legislation is … bad for business and creates roadblocks as we try to build the new Virginia economy. Businesses and job creators do not want to locate or do business in states that appear more concerned with demonizing people than with creating a strong business climate. Legislation that immunizes the discriminatory actions of certain people and institutions at the expense of same-sex couples would damage Virginia’s reputation for commonsense, pro-business government. We need only look at the damage these types of laws are doing in other states to understand the harm this bill could bring to our Commonwealth and its economy.”
Good on McAuliffe and good for Virginia, though i kinda wish he'd said he vetoed the bill because hate is wrong and not because it's bad for business and the almighty dollar; but money is king, you know.
All of this nonsense, and there are more laws like this everywhere, just waiting to be passed, makes me wish I owned a business and could then operate my business by deciding who I would and would not serve.

Imagine the outrage if Bob’s Bridal Boutique catered only to atheists and gays; imagine the Christian outrage, the “How dare he”, if I decided I’d pick and choose who bought my cakes, or whose wedding I photographed or to whom I sold a tuxedo.

Imagine the Christians going nuts about that. Imagine the outrage if I opened a diner and  refused to serve Christians at the counter; if I had a special drinking fountain because I didn’t want Christians and wingnuts and Republicans drinking from the same one as the regular folks. Imagine a Christian being forced to sit at the back of the bus.

Washington Blade

1 comment:

the dogs' mother said...

Our Governor just said nope to state travel to NC.