Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Gay Thing: Anti-Gay Laws on the Horizon? It's Getting Ridiculous

News for gay people has been--for lack of a better description--a bit bi-polar of late. Marriage equality is racking up wins left and right, small and large. There are multiple lawsuits against discriminatory state constitutional amendments in multiple states, all seemingly on track to success. Little by little (and sometimes bigger by bigger), the movement is in a really good place.

But the backlash has begun. Well, to be fair, it's been coming since forever, but it's got a new face. A really stupid, really odd, really hateful face. The new line of attack from the religious right is the concept of "religious freedom." Or, rather, the new concept of religious freedom that doesn't track logically, but somehow has found traction in Right Wing World. It goes like this: if you're selling a product or a service, and you're quite religious, you shouldn't have to sell to people who live their lives in a way that contradicts your religion.

Well, it's tighter than that. Specifically, if you're gay, they shouldn't have to accommodate you. Not divorced, or an adulterer, or any of a lengthy list of sins. Just The Gay Thing. The religious freedom of the customer doesn't matter, only the business owner, salesperson, or other employee offering the goods or service. This is--to say the least--a very peculiar and specific definition of religious freedom. And it breaks many current public accommodations laws.

Solution! Make new laws! Carve out exemptions for religious people (read: born again Christians) who don't want to sell stuff to "sinners" (read: gay people). Now, when this sort of thing was done prior to the civil rights awareness of the 1960s, it was called "Jim Crow." But the current crop of anti-gay politicos don't see it that way. And they aren't limiting their ire to participating in "gay marriage." In fact, in several of the cases that have made it to court, there wasn't any legal gay marriage in the states in questions. No, some of these hateful, nasty laws are going even further, into much more serious territory. Like emergency response. Medicine. Surgery.

Yes, these "good Christians" wish to be able to be as mean as they want to this select group of people, and have it codified into law. Does that sound "Christian" to you? It certainly doesn't sound constitutional.


Idaho bill would allow doctors or cops to refuse service to LGBT people on religious grounds

An Idaho Republican can’t think of anyone in his state who has been forced to render aid to a gay or lesbian person against their will, and he’d like to keep it that way. Rep. Lynn Luker outlined a proposal Tuesday backed by his conservative Christian allies to shield religious people from the threat of losing their professional licenses for refusing service or employment to anyone they conclude violates their religious beliefs. “This is pre-emptive,” said Luker, a Boise Republican. “The issue is coming, whether it’s 10 years, or 15 years, or two years. . .”

Read more at: Raw Story


Anti-gay marriage bill wins Kan. House's approval

Gay-rights advocates lashed out Wednesday at the Kansas House's leading Democrat, saying he showed only tepid opposition to a bill protecting people who, based on their religious beliefs, discriminate against gays and lesbians. Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat who's also running for governor, voted against the measure, which the House passed 72-49 on Wednesday, sending it to the state Senate. . .

Read more at: Houston Chronicle

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