Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Modest Amendment to SB2566

Posted By on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Whenever I have the occasion to talk about gay rights with people who are less than inclined to give gay people the same rights as everyone else, there's a consistent theme—"I'm not homophobic, I just think it's wrong, and I have a right to my opinion." Okay, fair enough. Then let's talk about Brian Kelsey's bill, SB2566, which would give a person or a religious denomination the right to refuse to do business with gay people if doing so would be "related to, or related to the celebration of, any civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage not recognized by this state, if doing so would violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of the person or religious or denominational organization regarding sex or gender."

Okay, if this is just about people's firm religious beliefs and not about publicly humiliating gay people, then I'd suggest Kelsey amend the bill to require anyone or any business that won't provide services to gay people to post a sign at the door of the business so that gay people might know without having to have an awkward confrontation the policy of the place of business or the employee they're dealing with. Gay people could just see the sign and go on about their business with businesses or employees who are happy to have their money.

If it's so important that people be allowed to have their opinions and to have their feelings protected by the law, then what would be the problem with a sign at the door announcing their opinions to the world?

Here's the thing. I appreciate that Brian Kelsey is doing the Buckleyan standing-athwart-history-yelling-stop thing, but gay marriage is, sooner rather than later, going to be the law of the land. We can, in these few remaining years (or possibly months), devote our time as a state to being as big a bunch of assholes as we can, only to see all our asshole efforts undone by the Feds. Or we can devote our time to laws that will actually matter.

For once, maybe let's not be jerks just because we can.

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