Written by Joan Stevenson—
There’s something that’s been bothering me. Why are presumably heterosexual white males in power (a.k.a. Republicans) so afraid of homosexuals that they have to deny them all human rights? This time they’re even going as far as using God as the excuse. Why are they so afraid of homosexuals being happy and living ordinary lives? Oh, and I should also mention they’re not all that fond of women and people of color either.
I mean it has to be fear, right? All of this simply can’t be in the name of religion. With the majority of Americans who agree that gays should be allowed to legally marry and have the same basic rights and freedoms that every American is entitled to that we all share, there is a powerful minority that wants to make sure that no rights apply. And now they’re doing it in the name of God.
I’m speaking of the recent flap with Indiana governor Mike Pence signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. This act protects a person or business owner from government persecution when following their religious beliefs. He just basically sent a message that in the state of Indiana, if homosexuality is against your religious beliefs, it’s ok to deny goods and services on the basis of sexual orientation. This was the case with the idiot at Memories Pizza saying that if a gay couple wanted them to cater their wedding, they would refuse. (Yeah, like gays are just clamoring to have a pizzeria catering their wedding.)
But this religious freedom act quite literally legalizes covert (well not so covert) discrimination. This little piece of legislation was brought up to circumvent the fact that so many states have legalized gay marriage. Never mind that the majority of the American people have given their support for gay marriage. Oh no, the powers that be (in the name of God) can’t have that. They can’t have this “deviant” group of people having equality. It’s sad really that on the one hand gays have been given the legal right to marry, but depending on what merchants or services they might choose to do business with (in states that have signed this act into law) can still be singled out for discrimination and it’s all perfectly legal. The federal government washes their hands and will let the states carry out this act as they see fit. There is a similar bill currently circulating in the Michigan Senate, even though currently it is still legal in Michigan to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Oh, here’s another little tid-bit: Did you know that even now In twenty-nine states in this country, you can legally be fired from your job just for being gay? Twenty-nine states and that includes Michigan! And in thirty-four states it is legal to fire someone solely for being transgender.
But why? Why do so many hate or fear gays? I don’t think its hate per se. I think its fear. I think people turn fear into hatred to try to justify it. Hate makes you strong, if you fear something that is seen as a weakness, so it has to be fear right?
But what is the basis of that fear? I’ve heard it said that the biggest fear of people in power is equality. That makes sense because power is held by a select few. It’s because of that that they can hold sway over the many, but if everyone were equal, then there would be no majority that could impose their will. This holds true for any group: the LGBT community, women, people of color, etc. My personal theory? In the case of gays, I think it’s because they’re afraid that if people enjoy homosexuality too much, they would rather be gay (as if that’s a choice), and if that happens, then the human race will cease to exist. That’s a mighty BIG fear and a big responsibility since the powers that be have seemingly appointed themselves guardians of humanity. But what the powers that be don’t understand is that homosexuality is a part of human nature. Paranoid Power Heteros need not worry, especially with people like the Duggars out there whose mission is to be fruitful and multiply, humans will still be having children. The catch is as long as people keep breeding, there will always be gays.
So what now? It seems that their only solution is to oppress as much as possible; to deny equality or at least parse it out in careful minute doses. Give a little with one hand, but not much (marriage/couples rights) then take it away with the other (Religious Restoration Act). We must limit the rights and freedoms of this deviant group. They seem to forget one thing gay rights = civil rights
The last time our friend the Religious Freedom Act made the news was when the company Hobby Lobby denied contraceptive coverage to their female employees. Citing that in the name of God (but really I believe it was just to get out of complying with the Affordable Care Act mandate) that they did not believe providing contraception was concurrent to their religious beliefs therefore they would not provide it. The Supreme Court ruled in Hobby Lobby’s favor
So Republicans, in the name of God, are denying legal rights. Land of the free indeed. To what end? How does this serve their agenda, and oh, they DO have an agenda. So far all I can see is oppression of gays, women, and the poor and people of color. It’s that equality issue popping up again. The law is supposed to guarantee freedom and liberty for all, not to be used as a club to beat the huddled masses down.
This is clearly a civil rights issue and it should be contested highly, but it’s because it’s done in the name of God that courts are reluctant to act with the force needed to prevent such travesties. All we the people can do is to remain vigilant and keep fighting for what is right. No one should be denied basic human rights just because of who they are and who they love. Discrimination in the name of God. I think that is quite possibly one of the lowest forms of manipulation. I don’t understand that, I just cannot understand.