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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Sen. Gazelka's Freedoms Are Kind Of Mixed Up

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 05/07/15 10:47

by Dave Mindeman

Senator Paul Gazelka is proposing an Indiana type "religious freedom" bill which allows business to discriminate against gays. Some of the quotes coming out of the news conference defy logic....

"This is not a bill to discriminate against gays and lesbians".

Why, yes it is.

"This bill is about allowing both sides to live as they please."

Uh, no, it is not.

I still find it astonishing that people might believe that they have a religious right to tell gay people they simply will not provide a business service to them.

Why is that OK? How does baking a cake or taking photographs violate YOUR religious beliefs?

Do divorce attorneys refuse adulterers as clients? (they'd go bankrupt)
Do bartenders refuse to serve alcoholics? (Maybe they should...)
Do we kick politicians out of office for lying? (Yeah, that's a good one)

The point is that Christians deal with people who, in their eyes, are terrible sinners all the time....and think nothing much about it. Except when it comes to gay marriage. For some reason that escapes me, this is where they draw the fictional line.

And there is a very simple explanation (and it is not religion) It is bigotry. They don't really give a rip about who another person marries, they just don't like gay people getting married. It makes them uncomfortable so they use religion as an excuse to hate.

And that is not fair to the Christian religion. All the sins that get outlined by Christians are never reasons to cause harm to the "sinner". Christianity is a message of love - except, apparently, when it comes to dealing with same-sex or transgender issues.

Then, suddenly, God's wrath is the prime motivation. We must defend the "sanctity" of marriage.

C'mon. Who are you kidding? You know that's bullsh*t. Everybody knows it. But still we have to have these political confrontations over something that we pretty much know has no reasonable place in public discourse.

Nobody is demanding that you change your mind on gay marriage. If you think its wrong then you have the religious right to believe that. That's where the freedom of religion will protect you. But if you act on that belief to violate the individual rights of others simply because you don't personally believe it is right yourself, then you are no longer protected by the first amendment.

20 years from now we are going to look back on these things and say, "What the heck were we thinking?"

The truth is...we weren't thinking.
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Q: How Public To Make Those "Deeply Held" Religious Beliefs

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 04/09/15 13:46, Edited: 04/09/15 13:47

by Dave Mindeman

A blogger that MinnPost featured today talked about the North Dakota vote against adding LGBT to the list of protected classes in the state.

The writer, Nancy Edmonds Hanson, put forward an interesting proposal:

To save time and reduce the awkwardness of making moral judgments on a customer-by-customer basis, here's a modest marketing proposal. Let's streamline the process. Business owners who feel their personal "sincerely held religious beliefs" permit them to deny service to the wrong sort of customers could take the bold first step today ... while the state of North Dakota still offers absolutely no legal impediment.

Come out of the closet. Why not post "No LGBTQ" signs on your businesses right now? Thousands of us are curious. That includes not only the folks whom you'd prefer to forfeit to your competition, but the broad, growing and determined coalition who support the notion that every person deserves dignity, respect and a fancy layer cake with their choice of fondant or butter cream frosting.

I wonder how many businesses would post that sign. If that truly is their religious belief, shouldn't they just proclaim it - don't hide it under a bushel? Announce to the world that this is your religious statement. After all, isn't God on your side?

Would these business owners, who serve the "general" public, be vocal and public about their beliefs? After all, they can save gay couples the embarrassment of being refused service if they see a clearly stated message that gives them a heads up.

But then I guess these businesses would also be subject to a decision from the general public. Would this drive customers away who support the LBGT community? Is that something they are willing to contemplate in regards to their "strongly held" Christian beliefs?

How far would they take this type of "religious freedom"?
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Time To End This Discriminatory Drama

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 04/03/15 10:50

by Dave Mindeman

As Indiana Governor Mike Pence proclaims that the law is "fixed", I think the statement from Indiana based business CEO Bill Oesterle of Angie's List raises the most valid point....

"Our position is that this 'fix' is insufficient. There was not a repeal of RFRA and no end to discrimination of homosexuals in Indiana. Employers in most of the state of Indiana can fire a person simply for being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning. That's just not right and that's the real issue here."

Indiana is one of a number of states that do not recognize LGBT persons as a protected class. And that means that a gay person can be fired for the very reason that they are gay.

We have an anti-discrimination law in this country, but it specifically lists the protected classes....and being gay is not one of them.

A protected class isn't singled out because of minority status. It is listed as protected because there is a history of discrimination against that class.

How is it that the LGBT community does not qualify?

Throw out all of this religious hogwash. Christians are not harmed by doing business with a gay couple. That's a ridiculous smokescreen that extreme Christians want to use to promote a bigoted mentality.

It isn't your religion that is at stake when you bake a cake for a gay wedding, it is your own discriminatory tendencies.

It is way past time that we end this exercise in futility and political posturing and simply outlaw gay discrimination via Federal statute. Most of the rest of the country, where states have added a gay clause to their anti-discrimination statute, get along just fine without any religious outcry.

The coming generation doesn't understand why the current generation deems it so important to single out gay people as somehow "unclean" or "too different". Younger people look at discriminatory policy as stupid and archaic.

It is time that this country moves beyond such foolishness; put this sentiment into law and save us all the ridiculous drama.
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