With the public’s growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, there seems to be a desperate push to put into operation draconian outdated (1993) religious protection laws. Already passed by twenty states, this law prevents people from being compelled to provide such services such as catering or photography for same-sex weddings.  It allows business, for example, to refuse actions that impose “a substantial burden” on their religious beliefs.  If that refusal is challenged in court, a judge must balance the religious burden with the state’s “compelling interest in preventing discrimination,” according to the law.

Pence: ” If I thought It Legalized Discrimination In Any Way, I Would Have Vetoed It!”

On March 26, 2015, Indiana’s Republican State Senator Mike Pence signed into law a religious objections bill that will take place in July.  An outcry immediately followed. http://www.lgbtqnationcom/2015/03/hundred-rally-at-indiana-state-capitol-in opposition-to-anti-lgbt-religious-freedom. The protestors, mostly in the arts, business, and college athletics, are afraid that the law will give license to discriminate against LGBT persons.

Twitter was abuzz with tweets against Pence’s endorsement: Hillary Clinton:  “sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today;” Broadway star Audra MacDonald threatened to pull out of a coming Indiana performance because she has two gay band members;” actor George Takei called himself “outraged” and suggested a boycott of the state; Seattle Mayor Ed Murray prohibits Indiana travel for his city employees; Apple’s Tim Cook tweeted that “Apple is open for everyone We are deeply disappointed in Indiana’s new law and called on Arkansas Governor to veto a similar #HB 1228 bill;” San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee has joined others to boycott Indiana over RFRA; Angie’s List now wants to expand its business in another state due to the new Indiana law.

The Wild, Wild West

The state that brought you Proposition 8, the 2008 initiative that banned same-sex marriage by voters, has proposed a voter initiative called “The Sodomite Suppression Act.” The Cause Celebre of Huntington Beach, California lawyer, Matthew G. McLaughlin, the initiative mandates that any person who has sexual relations with someone of the same gender be “put to death by bullets to the head.” Not much different than Isis throwing hooded homosexuals off buildings?

It is doubtful that McLaughlin is going to obtain the 365,880 signatures needed to put it on the ballot.  The Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, who is running for Senate, is putting a squelch on McLaughlin’s initiative. Two days ago, Harris decided to file an action “for declaratory relief seeking judicial authorization to not issue a title and summary for act .”If the court does not grant this relief, she affirms, “that her office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.”

Utah Finds Balance

Even Utah, the second most Republican state and fourth most conservative state in the country, managed to pass the week of March 13th, a pair of bills that banned discrimination against LGBT individuals in employment and housing while carving out accommodations for individuals and institutions with conscience-based objections to these measures.  While individual local officials who object to same-sex marriage are not required to preside over such ceremonies, for example, but each local office is responsible for doing so.” As Senator Stuart Adams of Utah’s 22nd District contends, “if Utah can do this, it can be done anywhere in the nation.”

When Your Child is Gay

When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know

For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting as well as gay and lesbian content. For the past two years, Wesley has concentrated almost exclusively on the lesbian and gay community, specifically on advising straight parents of gay children on how to be better parents and raise happy, well-adjusted adults

Leave a Comment