They say your freedom stops at my nose. I think that’s pretty reasonable. I’ve never thought rights for any group that can be distinguished whether by sex or sexual orientation, faith or skin color should oblige a private person in their home to be tolerant or decent. They have every right to be a bigot and a bastard and we have every right to call them names too. That ends if someone goes and hurts someone physically or threatens violence or commits some other criminal act.
If the so called religious freedom acts, most recently to such great pride and fanfare in the tar heel state of North Carolina, were just about the freedom to practice religion freely I’d hardly have an objection. No government official should have the right to tell a church, mosque or synagogue that they are obliged to marry two people that they don’t believe they should marry based on their faith. That’s a matter between them and God. The constitution is plain on the matter, the state shall not interfere. The congregants might, but not the state.
But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about the unfettered right of every bloody racist bigot to use religion as their impenetrable shield and bludgeon to fend off anyone they choose to not serve or help in the name of their religious freedom. In theory for any reason whatsoever.
For the moment set aside if you’re someone reading this who doesn’t believe as I do that LGBT people deserve to be treated as human beings. Here’s the scenario. Instead of the couple being a same sex couple at the bakery:
“I’m sorry, it’s against my religious beliefs to serve a mixed race couple marrying” or
“Jews killed Jesus, I would never bake a cake for a Jewish couple, it’s against my religious beliefs” or
“Please have your husband come make the order, I don’t believe women should be allowed to handle money or enter into financial agreements, because of my sincerely held beliefs”
What exactly would happen to them in this day and age? Why is it unacceptable to be a racist, or a sexist, or reject a member of another religion but OK to distinguish LGBT people out for misuse.
They’ve said they won’t pursue any cases under the US civil rights laws. I hope to god that in the truly unfortunate case that someone from the LGBT community is hurt or worse killed because someone was emboldened by the idea that they wouldn’t have to face hate crime charges that at least the attorney general and governor of the state should face direct civil rights charges in federal court and serious jail time for suborning the behavior.
Make no mistake. State legislatures that pass such legislation and governors that sign the legislation are doing nothing less than attempting to declare us as less than human and legitimate targets of hate crimes and are willing accomplices to such crimes. They want to bring us back to a time when a trans person could be beaten and killed on a street corner with no interference. Unfortunately even with protection this happens, it isn’t getting better with it stripped away.
If my tone sounds upset and angry it’s because it is. It is one thing to fail to get protective laws passed but not to be actively pursued. Legislatures Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and more states are at least eroding our rights if not calling for making it a crime for us to use a public restroom. It would be funny and a farce if it wasn’t becoming so serious. Over and over the same false charges of predation on the part of people who they say would dress up as women and claim to be trans, something which just hasn’t happened anywhere.
Oh, and their criteria for who’s a woman is just a joy ride through a lawyer’s stupidity. My favorite is the cis gendered woman who’s suing because she was dragged out of a ladies room last week – really.
I feel better now. Discuss.