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27 March 2015 @ 03:59 am
Life in these Untidy States: SB101 Affects Everyone  
Much has been said recently about Indiana’s SB101, the latest in a series of “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” metastasizing around the country. Most of the focus on SB101 has been characterizing it as an "anti-gay" or "anti-LGBT" bill, and, indeed, there's no secret that its primary impetus has spawned from numerous incidents where businesses have faced legal repercussions for refusing service to gay couples.

The text, of course, "cleverly" avoids any mention of sexual orientation.

I submit that this is not an "anti-gay" bill:
It is an anti-everyone bill.

Please understand: I wholly agree with the backlash against those who have smugly and snottily responded to the cry of "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter". That is an attempt to derail and deflect the outcry against the statistically-documented assault on the nation's black population. Of course "All Lives Matter"; it has never, in this country, been a matter of dispute that WHITE lives matter.

This is not that. This is not trying to derail the vital discussion of the frantic, desperate anti-LGBT flailings of the zealots who claim that the One who broke bread with prostitutes and publicans is really the Prince of Fear and Hate rather than Peace.

However, when I read the text of this bill, and really understood what it allowed, it was clear that this didn't just allow the prudish baker to refuse to make a wedding cake with two little grooms on top.

It allows any business - bakeries, restaurants, even hospitals - to deny service to any individual or group so long as they can claim that catering to them would be an undue burden on their "religious practices and beliefs". Mixed-race couples. Muslims. Atheists. Irish.

All I could think of were the words of Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit: Bunny in cupporsupah on March 28th, 2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
Precisely so. It's just as with defending freedom of speech - permit it all, not just the kinds you agree with, given that inherently, it's the marginalised voices that will require defending, even if that may sometimes be repellent. (Which always puzzled me with Right opposition to the ACLU as some bunch of degenerates, when they'll quite happily take on such cases, if the judicial logic is there to support their case)
Araquan Skytracer: Originalaraquan on March 29th, 2015 08:28 am (UTC)
Meanwhile, what's been happening in Georgia was both amusing... and very telling.
leonard_arlotte: GRRRR!leonard_arlotte on March 30th, 2015 10:50 am (UTC)
I just commented on my facebook a little while ago, that all those who are so angry about SB 101 had a chance to speak out on it, last november... when only 28% of voters turned out for the election.

That's when they can really make a difference, and when they can make a difference in the future, too.