Holy Backlash

Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana, has gotten himself into a bit of a pickle with his Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which paves the way for legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians. I’ve been galvanized by the swift and strong reaction to Governor Pence’s proposal. The problem for Pence and anyone who doesn’t believe in equality is that the majority of people are no longer going to allow such thinly-veiled acts of discrimination to exist without a battle – and that battle isn’t yet harming gays and lesbians, it’s hurting the state of Indiana. Hardly effective leadership for someone who is, say, the Governor.

If the growing boycotts and unprecedented backlash against Pence and his problematic religious freedom fight are indication of anything, it’s that this country, and this world, will not stand for discrimination against the LGBT community. It’s simply unacceptable to treat a gay person as anything less than a human being. We have the same rights and privileges as any other human being.

For me, it’s pretty simple: if you are open to the public, you have to serve the public. Gay, straight, black, white, Christian, Muslim, mean, nice, pretty or ugly ~ everyone. Do you have to become gay if you serve a gay person? No. Do you have to stop believing in Jesus Christ if you serve a Buddhist? No. Do you have to give up your Prada bag if you serve someone wearing Crocs? No.

We’ve had this argument before, but the world has changed and evolved a lot in the last few years. As the vitriolic response to Pence has proven, setting the stage for discrimination is not only bad policy, it’s bad business. I don’t feel the need to pontificate upon it any further, and the good thing is that there are other far more powerful entities willing to do so. The corporate world is standing against it and taking millions of dollars away from Indiana. Sports teams are considering pulling their biggest events out of the state. Other governors have banned travel and non-essential trips to the state of Indiana. The irony is that Mike Pence’s religious freedom act, far from helping or aiding Indiana, has served only to harm and inflict financial pain upon its own constituents. That’s the problem with anything rooted in hatred: the underlying nature of the beast will ultimately devour itself.

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