Category: Gay Rights


There was an article in the Hollywood Reporter recently talking about how Georgia (The state in America), was trying to pass the Free Exercise Protection Act. It allows people, businesses and churches to deny services to gay, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, and, I’m guessing, any other people that they don;t like or think should be sent straight to hell.

Specifically, it states… “ministers and pastors cannot be forced to conduct same-sex marriages, faith-based organizations can’t be forced to provide social, educational or charitable services that violate their religious beliefs, and that the government can’t “substantially burden” a person’s exercise of religion unless it involves “a compelling government interest” — thereby extending protections to individuals.”

According to the Humans Right Campaign, this act could… “open the door to discrimination in social services and employment against a wide range of Georgians.” It also argues that taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies, homeless shelters and drug counseling centers would be free to discriminate against LGBT individuals and couples.

Thankfully, there are a lot of people with serious clout against this Act. From Disney and Marvel, who have shot Captain America, Ant-Man and other movies there, to AMC’s The Walking Dead, to the major sport franchises, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and UPS, to name a few. According to the article, Georgia has become “Hollywood South” with a lot of film industry people and companies working there. If this Act passes, they will pull out of Georgia, leaving a $1.7 BILLION dent in the economy.

But I’m not here to talk about the financial damage this act could cause. I want to talk about the reasoning, if there is any, behind this.

As I see it, the idea behind this Act is to protect religious… ok, Christian religious beliefs from having to deal with those people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or LGBT) that Christians don’t like because of their belief system. Despite the fact that the First Amendment gives them that protection already.

There is, of course, a more simple solution. Any business, church, or person who doesn’t want to deal with LGBT people, they should boldly and proudly proclaim their beliefs in their advertising, their websites, social media, store windows, etc. Because in America, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion is everyone’s right! If they don’t to serve certain people because of their beliefs, that is fine. That is their choice. And I’m all about freedom of choice.

There would be some backlash, of course. That is also a freedom of the people, so long as it isn’t slanderous and such. Any violence towards the people or their businesses who don’t want to serve LGBT should be investigated and charged to the fullest extent of the law. After all, they have the right to express their religious beliefs through their businesses, their places of worship, and their homes.

The discrimination doesn’t have to stop there, of course. They could also indicate they don’t want to serve Muslims, Blacks, Latinos, kids, women, and anyone else they deem unworthy, unclean, or against their one true God. After all, it was their God that said to not have any other God before him. So I guess that would include Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, and so on.

But I digress.

I’m not a religious guy. But my Mother is. She reads her Bible every day, which is probably more than some holier-than-thou people out there. If there is a religious thing I need an opinion on, I ask her. But honestly, just from what I have gathered from her, and other people of faith that I know, this Act is bullshit, and pretty much goes against everything God teaches.

Sure there are passages in the Bible that anti-LGBT tout as proof of God’s hatred of them. But if anyone finds hatred in the Bible, especially when talking about the words of God, they are reading the wrong Bible. Besides, anyone can read anything they want in the Bible, or any other book on religion (I’m talking about you Muslim extremists and your screwed up version of the Quran), and twist it to their demented world view.

Does that mean the good, God-fearing Christian folks, as well as the prejudiced jerk-offs, who support this Free Exercise Act are demented? Yeah, pretty much. They are also afraid. They are cowards. They are faithless as well. If the fact that a man and a man getting married causes them such great fear that they need this kind of Act in place to protect themselves, then they must not have much faith in themselves or their religion.

By the way, remember earlier when I mentioned if people put anti-gay alerts on their businesses and that the law should protect their rights to do so? Well, the same would have to go for anyone, including LGBT people. Sad thing is, with racial tension on the rise, financial instability, and the potential for a greedy, self-serving egomaniac to lead the country, you want to bet that any minority (IE: someone who isn’t straight or white) would find themselves in a potentially unfriendly country.

Lets hope that all those big Hollywood names and corporations remember this fight in Georgia, and continue it throughout the land.

 

If you want to read the article I quoted, here’s the link below…

THR Hollywood against Free Exercise Act

The Kim Davis Got Religion Blues

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Kim Davis.

She worked as a county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky. She was a busy woman, mother, who had been married four times. For someone who hands out marriage licences, you’d think she’s be better at it. Anyways, one day, a gay couple came in to file for a marriage licence, in accordance to the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave.

But, this county clerk wasn’t very free, or brave. In fact, Kim Davis, who said she was acting “under God’s authority”, refused to issue the marriage license to gay couple, who had been together for 11 years. She, feeling that she was on a roll with God, also denied three other couples, including two heterosexual couples. The last two may have been out of jealousy, due to her own ineptitude at marriage.

After much anger and legal crap, Davis was incarcerated until she agreed to hand out marriage licences to whoever wanted them. Recently, she was released from jail and allowed to return to work, so long as she didn’t interfere with others giving out marriage licences.

At one point, Davis was quoted as saying…

“I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage. To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision. For me it is a decision of obedience. I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s Word.”

This coming from a woman married four times. Seems a little hypocritical doesn’t it. but I digress, because that isn’t the point of this blog.

The fact is, Kim Davis has a point. If she doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage, especially if it’s based on religious beliefs, then she shouldn’t be forced to do something against her beliefs. No matter how backwards and out-of-date her beliefs are.

When I was taking a course in Pharmacy Technician, a very similar scenario came up. What if someone brought a prescription for something that was against the Pharmacy Technician, or even the Pharmacists’, beliefs? The answer was simple, someone else would take care of the patient. The main goal was to help the patient. personal beliefs were taken into account, but if the person dealing with the patient could not due to personal or religious beliefs, then they would pass on the patient to someone who could. Simple.

It seems that Davis, despite saying that this “has never been a gay or lesbian issue”, made it one when she flatly denied to allow a gay couple to buy a marriage licence. If it had been solely about her religious beliefs, she could have gone to her manager and said that she couldn’t issue licences to any gay couples because of her religious convictions. If her boss was a decent person, he would have allowed that. But instead of doing that, satisfying her beliefs and allowing a gay couple to get married, she made it into an issue by refusing them, as well as a bunch of others, including two straight couples.

Which finally brings me to my point, which is that religion should stay the hell out of people’s lives.

It seems that the whole gay marriage, and gay equal rights thing, has become an issue for the church, especially Christians. Why? Unless gays are running into the churches and plastering everything in rainbows, or making out in pews, then religions shouldn’t have anything to do with gays who only want to live their lives.

Do churches have the right to refuse a gay couple from being married there? Absolutely!

Do religions have the right to stop gay people from getting married? Absolutely NOT!

The only time religion should be involved in anyone’s life is when that person wants it there. If it sticks its nose in people’s business who don’t want it there, then it becomes a nuisance and despised. These people who use religion in such a way, as a way to justify their fear and close-mindedness, turn something that is supposed to be meaningful and enlightening, into an instrument of hate and ignorance.

For those who don’t see gay marriage as a right due to their religious beliefs, they are entitled to their beliefs… as strongly as I disagree with those beliefs. But in a truly free country, that is their right. And their rights should be respected… to a point.

That point comes when their beliefs interfere with life and well-being of others.

Putting Kim Davis in jail may have only fanned the flames of those who would enact religious protection acts against what they think are people (IE: homosexuals) taking away their rights.

But the truth is, gays don’t want anyone else’s right to be taken away, like theirs has been for so long. All they want, is the same rights as everyone else.

 

Btw, did I mention that Kim Davis has been married four times? Tell Alanis Morrisette that her working in a marriage licence office is ironic. Don’t ya think?

 

Chapter TK

Question Everything

AROUND and ABOUT

... I M O ...

Kate Heartfield

writer and editor

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