Whilst the Obama administration promises at the federal level to recognise equal marriage, the state of Kansas is trying under the guise of religious freedom to deny gay citizens the same rights and privileges as everyone else:
When passed, the new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. Businesses that provide public accommodations—movie theaters, restaurants—can turn away gay couples at the door. And if a gay couple sues for discrimination, they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees. As I’ve noted before, anti-gay businesses might as well put out signs alerting gay people that their business isn’t welcome. [Slate]
How can someone advocate anti-gay discrimination as a matter of religious discrimination?
Step forward Representative Macheers, who has seen the bill passed to be considered next by the Kansas Senate:
“Discrimination is horrible. It’s hurtful. … It has no place in civilized society, and that’s precisely why we’re moving this bill,” he said. “There have been times throughout history where people have been persecuted for their religious beliefs because they were unpopular. This bill provides a shield of protection for that.” [Source]
This bill is a shield for religious anti-gay bigotry. Allowing citizens to legally behave as active anti-Samaritans to other citizens refusing them not just a commercial undertaking, but dignity owed to every person with human needs of food, shelter, entertainment and celebration. One that cannot be supplied based on the recipients creed, colour or sexual orientation without making citizens unequal, less than human.
Watching gay people eat in your restaurant is not, for the proprietor that sees homosexuality as an abomination, religious discrimination. You may think it wrong, but remember you are under no obligation to have same sex, let alone a same sex marriage, with such patrons. Your rights here are protected.
No one gets to undermine the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of law abiding citizens. I trust the majority of people in Kansas will understand that threat by law makers to the common good by such discrimination. No one should by legal fiat impose their religion on another.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog