Americans forgo equality for ‘religious rights’



Jessica Jasperson
Jessica Jasperson

Kansas, Arizona, Idaho and South Dakota are some of the states to propose anti-gay segregation bills.

If these bills are voted upon and signed into law by the state governor, individuals and businesses have the right to refuse services to customers who are gay in order to protect “free exercise of religion” without the threat of a lawsuit.

Let’s picture signs up in windows asserting, “We do not serve to gays” or “No gays allowed” much like the racial segregation signs hung up during that sad point in our American history.

I find this disgusting on many levels. Politicians are taking a thousand steps backwards from where Americans are today, with 17 states legalizing same-sex marriage, to give what they claim is a “religious freedom.”

Firstly, since when are all individuals and business owners in Kansas, Arizona, Idaho and South Dakota Christian? Secondly, if we assume these people are Christians, who says they are against serving gays? Thirdly, how does one know if someone is gay without discriminating from looks or speech? Fourthly, do gay business owners have the right to not serve straight people?

I have many, many more questions,  and I’m sure fellow Americans are as confused as I am.

These politicians are not creating bills based on the states’ business owners’ beliefs. In fact, I have no idea why these bills would be proposed in the first place.

Kansas’ bill was thankfully shut down rather quickly last Thursday. After passing the state House of Representatives (because of the Republican Party), the state Senate rightfully terminated it.

Many people are questioning why the Republican Party would create a bill that was sure to be killed at the state Senate level.

Arizona’s anti-gay segregation bill is moving quickly. It passed with a vote of 33-27 in the state Senate.

All democrats voted no, while all but three republicans voted for the bill. Now it is up to republican Gov. Jan Brewer to decide whether or not to veto or pass the bill into law. Arizona could or could not be the first state to enact an anti-gay segregation bill.

These bills are not protecting the citizens of these states by any means. Rather, anti-gay segregation bills are promoting discrimination of all people, whether gay or straight,  because they are based on assumption and nothing more.

All in all, this is not a matter of exercising people’s religious rights without fear of a lawsuit. This is a matter of creating another form of segregation in a country that is the  “land of the free,” or so we thought.

Politicians are grasping at straws with a precautionary bill, just in case their state legalizes same-sex marriage. Perhaps this is understandable. We all know how dangerous that equality has been lately. Am I right?

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