Wow. This past Thursday, the Arizona state legislature passed a law which awaited the signature or veto of the governor on whether to permit businesses to refuse service to gays based on “religious principles”. The legislation was placed on the governor’s desk, on Monday, upon which she has until this coming Saturday to decide whether to sign or veto. Arizona’s U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, both urged the governor to veto. Apple began back-peddling their plans to build a plant in the state. The Super Bowl was threatening to leave (just like they did about fifteen years ago when the state did not want to recognize MLK Day, and the state, then, reportedly lost hundreds of millions in revenue).
But, as the tide of protest continued to get bigger and bigger, thank goodness the governor did not for any reason wait until the weekend to decide to veto.
Since most politicians rather willfully shy away from educating, before simply cutting to the heart of the tedious, Leviticus 18:22/Old Testament debate debunking the “religious principles” claim, given how cynically nutty this particular piece of legislation was, we ought to first air out a few civil liberty quandaries (when legislation like this will come up, again)…
For one: how would one know if a potential customer is gay?! How awkward would it be if a teenager, out with his parents, is refused service by an unwise proprietor despite not yet coming out? …I would love to stop at any a gas station in the state and reply, ‘Hey, biologists and anthropologists say that the vast majority of us heterosexuals are to some extent bisexual. This includes you, Dwight. So, $25 on 2.’
How perverse is it to leave it up to the law to decide what is ‘burdensome’ to the business person’s religious beliefs? Would gay residents of Arizona ultimately have to be registered to wear a yellow (or, pink) star, like the Jews had to wear in concentration camps, to be ensured potential discrimination from business? If a general physician became known for refusing gay patients, one could go in for a prostate exam and then share when it is over, “By the way, doc, I’m gay, and you just had your hand up my ass!”
Arizona is one of five states that allows its general public a no license or permit (or, “Unrestricted”) concealed/carry handgun policy, as well as upholding a Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine which extends coverage to any place in the state where a person has a right to be. So, if discriminated against (or, not), where deadly force is threatened (or, not), said person could shoot the discriminator and legally claim self-defense. It seems like interpreting public policy in Arizona is a bit like knowing how to play poker… or, Russian-roulette. Long live the wild west.
The argument from those who support this legislation is that businesses would simply, legally be protected to “politely” refuse transacting with presumed gays. It is perfectly astonishing, even more so now in the Information Age, how a conformed brainwashing can lend to an inability to see the discriminatory element (let alone, overlook the separation of church of state factor, which a] separates us from the countries we choose to continue to coldly and hotly war against, and b] hypocritically smacks the idea of less federal government in the forehead).
People might look at religious/social conservatives and say or think something to the effect of, ‘You can never change them.’ Wrong. Facts open people’s eyes. They do mine.
As for the “religious principle”, it has been proven that children who have gay parents become so acclimated to the normalcy of living among gays and gay couples, they therefore do not grow up discriminating against gays. Or, to put it as one sign at a not-too-long-ago same-sex rally, proudly, and rightly, said: “Jesus had two daddies!” I would see gay couples at the Catholic church I used to regularly attend and feel a profound sense of relief.
Intellectually, as well as sociologically, just about everyone alive now in the U.S. has been acclimated to both having come to reject as well as accept several passages/ideas written in the Old Testament. We accept the biggies, like not murdering, stealing, et cetera, while rejecting planting two different crops side by side or wearing a garment made from two different threads as being punishable by death. One of the very ten commandments dictates Christians should not work on the day of the Sabbath. Multiply roughly 50 Sundays per year times the 26 years I have been legally working, and I and others ought to be worried about being stoned to death. We can safely agree there are actual, deeper and darker, hierarchical sins going amorally unfrisked and unacknowledged in our current day.
In a nutshell, refusing equal rights for gays just because it is written in the Bible – or otherwise referred to as ‘religious principles’ – is simply means to hide behind one’s homophobia.