Thursday, April 02, 2015

Lgbts win round one on 'religious freedom' bills but don't celebrate just yet

All anti-gay lies come down to this.

According to Mediaite:

Lawmakers in both Indiana and Arkansas today passed fixes to their respective religious freedom bills. Indiana, of course, is the state where this entire controversy burst forth from, after celebrities and CEOs expressed their issues with the law over potential discrimination of gays and lesbians by business owners.

Today the Indiana legislature passed clarifying language that includes this new passage. Meanwhile, in Arkansas, they had passed their own religious freedom bill, but Governor Asa Hutchinson sent it back and said he wants to see changes to it that align more with federal law on the matter. The Arkansas legislature passed the qualifying language this afternoon, and as of this posting, Hutchinson has signed the bill into law.

The article goes on to say that Pence will do the same with his bill, no doubt sending conservatives and the anti-gay right in an apoplectic mood. (Editor's note - Pence just signed the bill.)

However, don't even think of celebrating or high-fiving each other. This is only the first shot in what will probably be a long war punctuated by talking points, anecdotes, think-tank jargon, and the constant, constant repetition of lies.

If the Supreme Court rules for marriage equality later this year, expect things to go into overdrive. And I would sincerely hope that my lgbt brothers and sisters and our allies are going to be as engaged then as we were this week.

Because you just know the other side will be.

Even as I write this, I can imagine the Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage, the Heritage Foundation, and their friends at Fox News such as Todd Starnes and others (Bryan Fischer, Erik Erikson, etc)  planning their next salvo. Or practicing the new horror story they will tell gullible folks about the so-called war on Christianity.

It's not like this hasn't been done before.

In the 70s, they wanted to "save the children" from gays,

In the 80s, they wanted to keep "normal Americans" from catching that "gay disease, which of course those homosexuals brought upon themselves,"

In the 90s, they wanted to prevent us from getting "special rights to invade communities, especially schools,"

And recently, they attempted to "save marriage" from us.

There is a pattern here which depresses me. But what depresses me more is how every one of these situations is treated as a new thing. As if these fear notions have been and are now legitimate fears.

No one, not even the folks on our side, will tie these things together and call them out in terms of what they are, i.e. a long continuous patter of lies designed to exploit people's fears and negative religious beliefs about lgbts.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council can be caught telling a lie, but he will still be called by some as a "faith leader." Todd Starnes can distort 100 articles with regards to lgbts and he would still be looked upon as a "legitimate journalist."

Anti-gay organizations can commit sins of omission while citing Centers for Disease Control data, they can cite junk science, and even outright lie in the things they write, say, and email to folks about us . But no one will call them on it to the point where reasonable questions about their credibility would be asked.

A news program would feature someone opposing an lgbt ordinance without even investigating that person's background in an attempt to engage in an HONEST debate because apparently parity seems to be more important than accuracy.

That's our world. That's where we live. And that's what we have had to fight for the longest time.

The question for the lgbt community is, as things heat up (and they will), will we be still be beholden to these awful inconsistencies or will we finally revolt from the "business as usual" way folks present our issues. And demand more clarity and accuracy.

Related post:

How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America:

the Scribd version

the webpage

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