The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed through the state Senate yesterday by a vote of 40 to 10, thanks to the heavy Republican support. The act will allow individuals and businesses to refuse services on the grounds of their personal beliefs. It basically legalizes discrimination against LGBT individuals. Supporters of the bill state that the bill is actually just strengthening the 1st Amendment rights of freedom of religion. The bill is currently at the House of Representatives for debate and vote, where I hope it dies.
I am 100% in favor of freedom of religion. I do not enjoy being told what I should or should not believe, and I imagine the rest of the world feels the same way, regardless of their religion or lack thereof. What boggles my mind here is that my state wants to give the green light to businesses to boldly discriminate against LGBT individuals and couples while hiding behind a religion they may not even be that serious about. This opens a door for hateful people to simply be hateful, denying services to others for the simple reason that they don’t agree with who they love, sleep next to, and spend their life with.
This bill is not protecting anyone’s freedom of religion. This bill is destroying equality for every individual who chooses to live outside the norm of “man marries woman.” This bill is hurting people who simply want to be free to be who they are. This bill teaches children that being gay is not okay. It sends a message that the LGBT community is less than the rest of us. It sends a message to all that the popular belief is homosexuality is wrong, is a sin, and all who identify as such will be going to hell.
I don’t want to live in a world where I can go get a coffee, have my haircut, and get a massage while someone else who happens to be gay can be refused those services over what they do behind closed doors. In a world where we worry about the rights of recently released prisoners, who have raped and murdered and done unspeakable things, why are we so preoccupied with sexual orientation? How does anyone else’s sex life affect us personally? I don’t agree with polygamy, but I sure as hell don’t oppose it. It’s not a choice I would make, but I’m also not affected whatsoever by any polygamous couple anywhere. Their daily life has no impact on mine.
We need to come together and accept that being gay, transgendered, or bisexual is a fact of life. I was born straight. Others are born gay. Some are born in the wrong body. Some are gender blind. We can’t help the way we are born. A gay person cannot help being gay any more than I can help being a woman with brown eyes of average height. Hate, on the other hand, is something we learn. We are taught that certain things are wrong. We learn to detest characteristics and choices people make. We build a hatred towards things we don’t understand. THAT is what we need to work on changing.
This issue is as important as the issue of racial equality, if not more so, as sexual preference doesn’t stick to certain races or nationalities. People would be outraged if a business refused service to every Hispanic person that came through their doors, yet we are going to be okay with the same business refusing service to a lesbian couple? These are foolish and stupid things to judge people on and it needs to stop. My husband pointed out that it wouldn’t be okay for a business run by a gay person or people to refuse service to straight couples, and if a bill was passed allowing this to be done, people would be enraged. No matter what the discrimination is, be it skin color or religion or orientation, we should be doing all we can to fight against it, not be passing bills in support of it.
Some may argue that this is needed because children shouldn’t be “exposed” to certain things. I grew up knowing what cross dressing was, understanding that different people have different skin colors, knowing what being gay meant, and accepting different religions and social/economic differences. I am a better person for being exposed to so-called harmful things. Drag queens aren’t going to go away, so what’s the harm in your child seeing one and asking a question? If you want to argue that it’s inappropriate, then you better start shielding your child from Kim Kardashian, every 20-something during the summer, Facebook, Instagram, TV in general, The Walking Dead, professional wrestling, public places, college, popular music… you get the idea. When it comes to harmful influences, the label of GAY doesn’t automatically qualify as harmful.
We need to stop acting as if being gay makes someone a bad person or an affront to any god. We need to stop calling it a perversion, as we all know that straight people can be more perverted than can be imagined; being into unusual things isn’t based on whether you are gay, straight, or bisexual. We need to stop thinking that pedophilia is something exclusively affecting the gay community and sticking that perverted label to them. We need to stop being such assholes, plain and simple, denying basic human rights to people based on things that are none of our damn business to begin with.
I currently have and have had gay friends (and family members), straight friends, bisexual friends, confused friends, slutty friends, repressed friends, and every type in between. The only time the love/sex lives of any of them affected me is when a friend of mine decided to bang my boyfriend at the time. Otherwise, they do them and I do me and everyone is happy as pie. Unless someone is being a nuisance about something, I’m not bothered. Who they sleep with, pray to, or what country they would travel to if they wanted to visit ancestors is of no concern so long as they are a decent and honest person.
My mother once told me that if I ever brought home a black man, she would disown me. One parent among many who will turn away from their children based on who they love. One person among many who think its acceptable to deny rights, goods and services, or even kindness to another based on characteristics that don’t define character. My son will likely grow up unable to say that he lives in a world where an LGBT individual receives the same rights and privileges as a straight individual. In a country that loves to proclaim it’s the land of the free and of opportunities, how utterly pathetic is that?
Posted on March 4, 2015, in Fear, News and tagged discrimination, equal rights, equality, gay, homosexual, indiana, lgbt, religion, religious, Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.