Dear gay men and women of America,
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently signed into law a religious freedoms bill designed to protect private citizen's and private business owner’s right to act in accordance with their religious beliefs. This means that they can choose with whom they wish to associate and do business, including anyone in the LGBT community. Apparently, this has thrown all of you into a tizzy. Several of your prominent “spokespeople” — namely Apple CEO Tim Cook, Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus and Star Trek actor George Takei — have made their opinions known and Angie's List is even canceling their plans to put a $40 million headquarters in the Hoosier state. Honestly, this was to be expected. You think you’re all under attack. You think you’re being unfairly singled out and targeted by fanatical-Republican-self righteous-relgious-homophobic-Judeo-Christian tyrants. More specifically, you think you’re being discriminated against. So, now you’re seeking reparations in the form of special treatment and exemptions.
This is so absurd and so ridiculous that I can’t even believe I’m having to write about it.
You’ve always argued that you just want “to be treated like everyone else.” The irony is that you’ve always had the same rights as every other average American Joe. But, that doesn’t matter to you. You want your rights elevated above everyone else. You want access to societal privileges that no one else would ever dream of requesting for themselves. Most of the time this works. But, not this time. And now, you’re mad.
All of this drama was first stirred up back in February, when Oregon pastry bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein refused to bake a cake for a gay couple, resulting in a judge ordering them to pay up to $150,000 in fines. They took a brutal beating from the national media and LGBT activists across the country launched a series of protests and boycotts — forcing them to shut down their business and start baking cakes out of their home. (The Kleins had already made news in January 2013 when they turned away a lesbian couple.)
Similar protests are now exploding across the country all because Indiana dared to pass a law that, honestly, is already enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights— you know, those ancient documents that supposedly guarantee every American “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” whether they’re black, white, Hispanic, Asian, gay, straight, transgendered, Klingon or whatever. They also mention religious liberty and freedom of speech, inherent natural, God-given rights that few people seem to care about these days. So really, Indiana’s “new” law isn’t new at all. It’s been around since 1791. The fact that an American state even had to pass a law protecting rights that have been protected for centuries is, frankly, terrifying. But sadly, that’s the America we’re living in right now.
Anyway, the real issue here is that the gay community as a whole sees this new law as hateful, bigoted, intolerant and discriminatory, none of which are true. In fact, no business is “refusing service” to gay people just because they’re gay. They’re simply refusing to participate in ceremonies or events that promote and support homosexuality — like gay weddings. But, that doesn’t matter to the majority of gays. They want special treatment. That’s why we continue to see things like: The Catholic couple fined for not hosting a gay wedding on their farm, a t-shirt vendor charged with human rights violations for not printing a gay pride shirt and all of the photographers, florists, bakers and bridal shops accused or charged with human rights violations for not catering to or participating in gay wedding ceremonies. And then there’s all of the outrage exhibited by gays when anyone in pop culture dares to speak out against homosexuality or refuses to conform with their philosophical ideology — like Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty or the Benham Brothers over on the Home & Garden Network.
You see, in this age of tolerance, anyone who takes a verbal stance against gay marriage, and broadcasts that stance from a national platform like a TV show or whatever, is usually punished to the fullest extent of the law, not to mention all of the boycotts, protests, hate mail, cyberbullying, etc. — all because gays think they’re being “discriminated” against.
The truth is, no human being has an inherent right to not be “discriminated” against. Just look at the dictionary definition: discriminate: “to make a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing on the basis of the group, class or category to which the person or thing belongs rather than according to actual merit; showing partiality.”
Don’t you understand that, as humans, we exercise discriminatory judgments in everyday life? Last week, my friend and I chose an American cuisine restaurant over a Mexican restaurant. Does this mean that we hate Hispanics? Does it mean we hate everything associated with Mexican people, the country of Mexico, salsa, tacos and overstuffed burritos? Of course not. It just means that, since we ate Mexican food the week before, we wanted something different. These sort of discriminations are just part of being human.
So, let’s apply this concept, in a larger way, to the gay rights controversy — in which gays are essentially saying that a Christian baker should be forced (yes, forced) to cater to their demands, their gay wedding, or else suffer the full, unbridled wrath of the United States government. If you're truly in favor of implementing that sort of “logic” across the country, I would pose these questions to you: Should a Muslim chef be forced to provide a pork platter for a Baptist church event? Should a Jewish cake artist be forced to bake a dark chocolate cake in the shape of a swastika topped with the words “Heil Hitler” written in frosting? Should a black photographer be forced to do public relations photography promotions for a KKK rally?
Now, before you all accuse me of comparing gays and lesbians to Nazis and the KKK, use your brain and re-read if necessary. These are not comparisons of one type of person/people to another type of person/people. These are cogent comparisons reflecting what business owners in this country can and cannot do. More specifically, what they have a right to do or not do. I honestly believe that those of you in the gay community are smart enough to understand this. I really do. We can disagree with one another on cultural, political and social issues, but it’s pretty pathetic to try to change the parameters of the argument to support your intolerant position. Yes, I said intolerant. That’s what is so ironic here. You want to have your cake and eat it too. (See what I did there?) You want to accuse these religious business owners of intolerance towards gays, but in protesting and suing them, you’re exhibiting the same brand of intolerance towards their religious beliefs and their right to exercise those beliefs as they see fit. (For more information on rights to religious freedom, please see that outdated document some of us still refer to as The Constitution.)
Even worse, you aren’t even remotely concerned with taking your arguments and theories to reasonable and logical conclusions. After all, there’s no room for logic when all you have in your corner is emotion. The only thing you can see is that some people would rather not be involved in your activities, and this hurts your feelings. So in retaliation, you demand that laws be passed, fines be imposed and charges be levied, all to satiate your ideological vendetta. To hell with the Constitution.
Sadly, I’m just wasting my time here. (Not to mention my laptop battery life.) For the opposition, this isn’t about having an intellectual discussion based on facts, reason and logic. It’s about giving gays whatever they want, when they want it and how they want it. It really has nothing to do with rights, human nature or God-given freedoms and liberties. As far as most of the gay community is concerned, those are all irrelevant topics and moot points. All they know is that some business owners are being mean and homophobic. And, to them, that just ain’t right.
But, again, no one is refusing service gays, they’re just refusing to participate in and contribute to events that conflict with their religious beliefs. If a gay man waltzed into a bakery owned by a Christian couple and ordered a box of cupcakes, they would be happy to oblige. There’s no conflict there. But, baking a wedding cake that will be used specifically for a gay wedding ceremony, does conflict with that couple’s religious beliefs. And, as a privately-owned business, they have the right, both legally and naturally, to refuse to provide that particular cake for that particular event. Surely, in states like Indiana and Oregon, there’s more than one place at which to purchase a wedding cake.
The right to discriminate — i.e. make decisions in favor of or against something or someone — is an active, natural, God-given right. It’s ingrained in our humanity. That’s why the Declaration of Independence outlines “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” You have the right to exercise control over yourself, your business, your property and all of your possessions. These are the things that we are entitled to as human beings. These are the essential, basic, human elemental principles that reflect our worth and our dignity. This is what separates us from barbarians and many other countries around the world.
To every gay American, I would defy you to find another country where you can flap your gums about intolerance, or even be outspokenly gay, and not be shunned, laughed at, persecuted, flogged or exiled. In fact, here are 70-something countries where it’s actually illegal to be gay.
You might not like Indiana’s law (note: there are several other states with the same law), but that doesn’t give you the right to ask for or even expect special privileges just because you’re gay. There is no “right” to not be “discriminated” against. This is a false and very dangerous idea invented by an oversensitive, whiny culture and stupid politicians. In fact, this religious freedoms law doesn’t even give these business owners the full-fleged ability to refuse to service a particular person or event. It really only grants them an avenue to have some sort of defense in court should they be sued for refusing to service that particular person or event. And in every legal situation that has arisen, it's been the religious business owners who have lost anyway.
In any case, it’s not what you’re making it out to be. You want us all to believe it’s an anti-gay, hateful, bigoted law. But, it’s not. At the end of the day, it’s really not even about gay people or homosexuality. So please, be quiet. Not everything is about you.
P.S. I hate to get technical, but you do realize that by protesting the state of Indiana and boycotting small businesses, you're discriminating, right?
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