You know, I might change my mind later, but my initial reaction to the newly passed bill in Arizona is “Yay!” Yes, "Yay!"
While it is a shame that some religious extremists have been brain-washed against understanding same-sex orientation, it is what it is. And would you really want to entrust your wedding photos to someone who is being legally mandated to take them despite strongly believing your relationship is an immoral travesty? Or would you really want your dinner to be prepared or served by someone who holds such an opinion about you? I wouldn’t.
Such a law will surely lead to public lists of businesses that deny service to gay people and lists of businesses that welcome all clients and customers, and I see this as a win-win-lose scenario, with the we-don’t-serve-gays businesses losing while the welcoming businesses thrive and the gay people are served by businesses that care about serving them. I would also guess though that very few businesses would ever choose to be placed on such a “we refuse to serve” list.
The religious extremists that propagate such bigotry (in the name of love, not bigotry, of course) also teach that only about 1-2% of the population is gay. What a shock to their business when the more realistic gay 8-10%, plus their much larger percentage of allies, use these lists to choose where to take their business.
The runner-up saddest part of this story to me is not the impact such legislation might have on gay people (I believe it will be minimal), but that these religious extremists really think they are standing up for God. No, really, they do. They are mostly good people who desire nothing more in life than to please God, and their judgment of gay people is what their leaders have taught them, many their entire lives. They need to hear the religious voices of the rest of us.
The saddest part, though, of such stories as this, is the impact such discrimination and bigotry has on the public perception of God and “God’s people.” Go ye therefore, and preach (ignorant discrimination and bigotry) to all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit . . . but those who love and accept others as Jesus did are running away from organized religion as fast as they can.
Go ahead, Arizona. Pass your laws. And go ahead, other backward and misguided states, and follow their lead. But be prepared for businesses to suffer greatly should they actually make use of such ignorant and oppressive legislation, and read the four Gospels before blaming your actions on God. May God have mercy on us all.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that WHOSOEVER believes in him should not die, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (2 John 4:11-12)
photo credit: wikipedia