Indiana is the 20th state to enact the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has enraged many in and outside of the state, whether LGBT or otherwise. Mike Pence, governor for Indiana signed his version of the RFRA into law at the end of last week is already backtracking saying he will amend to new bill to make it clear the law does not allow businesses the right to deny services to anyone, but wont go as far as making sexual orientation a protected class, which in 2015 should really be a federal protected class.
Governor Pence claims that the law was never intended to be discriminatory despite being sponsored by a number of anti-LGBT senators. Like all politicians either side of the party line, they lie and twist the facts to suit their own agendas and to hell with the people they are charged with representing. Despite the supposed separation of church and state, conservative Christians still push their religious agendas.
Of course the event that has sparked massive controversy on a national scale is the owners of family owned Memories Pizza openly showing support for Pence’s RFRA saying they would not cater a gay wedding. Why someone, gay or otherwise would want pizza catered for their wedding I will never know. The local ABC station wrongly reported that the Pizzeria would refuse service to all LGBT, which caused the backlash. I do believe that the owners are bigots, but the threats of violence are not acceptable.
The things that got me is Kevin O’Connor saying “That’s a lifestyle that you choose, I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head because they choose that lifestyle?”. Frankly that statement defies belief, do Christians honestly believe that being LGBT is a choice? A person is born that way, they don’t wake up one day and think “I’m going to be gay today”. I’m damn sure that most people would not choose to be gay given the bigotry against their sexual orientation.
Regardless of what was said, whether it be refuse service to all LGBT, or just LGBT weddings, either way you cut it, it’s a discriminatory and bigoted statement which has no place in modern society. Gay marriage is becoming more and more accepted by society, over 80% accept and support gay marriage in the under 30 age group. This country should reflect the will of it’s people and not the conservative Christians, who in my personal opinion use religion to hate on and discriminate against others different from themselves.
As I said in my Hobby Lobby withholding medical benefits blog, religious freedoms should not be extended to a business. Religion is a personal choice, a business can not and should not be allowed to be a religious entity and be given the same freedoms as individuals to express their religious beliefs.
These RFRA laws are leading us down a dangerous path, for example, a Muslim owned pharmacy decides to not sell life saving drugs because the capsule containing the drug is made from pork products! But I am willing to bet that because it’s a non Christian religion, the shoe would be on the other foot and all the Christians would be outraged. But there can not be religious freedoms for one religion and not others.
I just hope that within the next 20 to 30 years, a younger, more progressive group of politicians will be in power, the 80%+ that support equality and LGBT rights now will change the way this country works and truly separate church and state, unlike the token separation of church and state we have currently.
Update [Apr, 6 2015, 13:34]: It really does pay to be a bigot it seems. The O’Connor family will receive nearly $850,000 for their beliefs from the Dana Loesch created gofundme.com account. Which I would guess is many times what they would have made from the Pizzeria in a year. Dana Loesch claims this gofundme account is to combat the leftist hatred and financial hardship caused by it. What about the religious intolerance for their fellow man, including the LGBT community, God does not teach to exclude anyone. How can these people call themselves good Christians when they discriminate against the LGBT community while still catering for a second marriage which also supposedly goes against Christian beliefs.
Religious freedom and personal freedoms clearly can not live in peace, they are at clear odds with each other, sexual orientation should be a protected class at a federal level to stop this sort of discrimination.
The federal RFRA signed into law by Bill Clinton was meant to protect an individuals right to religious freedom, not to be extended to businesses, somehow the religious right has turned that on it’s head to protect companies that discriminate against whoever they hell they want based on their religious beliefs.