Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Arkansas poised to give lgbts more control of 'religious freedom' narrative


As Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and the state deals with the repercussions of that awful anti-gay "religious freedom" bill, Arkansas is poised to pass a similar one. And that's a good thing:

From Think Progress:

Arkansas is a penstroke away from having a “license to discriminate” law nearly identical to Indiana’s. HB 1228, the Arkansas “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA), already passed both the House and the Senate, though it is awaiting a final consensus vote in the House before advancing to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R) desk for his signature. Unlike the scramble now happening in Indiana, lawmakers do not plan to include any clarification or carve-outs for nondiscrimination protections and activists are already pressuring Hutchinson to veto.

The Arkansas RFRA shares all of the characteristics of the Indiana bill that distinguishes both from other laws across the country with the same name. While other RFRAs only apply to complaints against the government, a person could cite the Arkansas RFRA as a defense against another citizen, claiming a burden on their religious belief. And like in the Indiana law, those religious beliefs are similarly broad, allowing for religious beliefs a person might hold “whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious beliefs.”

Whereas Indiana’s corporate backlash didn’t happen until after the bill became law, several companies have already spoken out in Arkansas. Walmart, which has its headquarters in the state and is its biggest employer (after the government), spoke out against the bill last month, as did the Arkansas Municipal League.

  . . . This is in addition to the nationwide opposition to such bills issued by companies like Apple and Yelp in the wake of Indiana’s law passing. Apple previously spoke out about Arkansas’ bill specifically, noting, “Our employees in Little Rock have a right to equal treatment under the law, as do their coworkers in Cupertino and around the world. We join the many voices across Arkansas in opposing H.B. 1228 and we urge the State’s legislators to vote against the bill.” Tuesday afternoon, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce came out against the bill in a statement posted on Facebook.

So why is this a good thing? In the case of Indiana, America saw the true face of the anti-gay industry.  America saw hypocrites talk about morality and faith while, at the same time, deliberately lie and distort.

Now having been exposed, one would think members of anti-gay groups and their allies would regroup, but they can't. They are unable to because of their internal beliefs of entitlement and infallibility. They are incapable of admitting that they are wrong and acting accordingly. No matter how much these folks publicly shed their pretenses of morality and expose themselves as the liars they are, they will continue to go full-speed ahead.

Or in this case, they will continue to go straight down until they hit bottom. 

People have been made aware of what these so-called "religious freedom" bills are actually for. They have objected in mass number and loud voices. Hopefully, the numbers will grow and the voices will become louder in opposition to these "religious freedom" bills no matter what state they may pop up.  That being said, it is nice to note that any discussions or debates on these bills can only help the lgbt community.

America saw the face of the anti-gay industry that those of us in the lgbt see every day. And just like us, they didn't like what they saw.

1 comment :

David Cheatham said...

Beautifully stated.