With the recent passage of more of these anti-LGBT discrimination laws under the guise of “religious freedom,” the national debate has become rather heated over whether or not we’re witnessing a modern-day version of Jim Crow-type laws aimed at homosexuals. Basically what many of these laws legalize is blatant discrimination against gay Americans by a person or business that simply says it’s “against their religion” to treat LGBT people equally.
But make no mistake about it, these laws have almost nothing to do with “protecting religion.” This is about nothing more than Republicans clinging to the outdated mindset that it’s acceptable to treat homosexuals as subhuman.
Though while Mississippi and North Carolina made most of the headlines for passing such discriminatory laws, there was a bit of a “bright” spot in all of this when Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed an attempt in his state to pass a similar law. However, before you try to paint Governor Deal as any sort of “saint,” I should mention there was quite a bit of pressure on him from several large corporations to veto the bill.
Nonetheless, he did the right thing, preventing legalized discrimination in Georgia.
So, how did the GOP react to Georgia Gov. Deal protecting the Constitutional rights of gay Americans?
Oh, just by voting to censure him at the state’s convention.
Republicans from the Third District of the state voted to censure the governor specifically because he vetoed the anti-LGBT bill. While the vote itself was mostly just symbolic, it’s absolutely ridiculous that this is how extreme and radical many Republicans are when it comes to their continued attempts to legalize discrimination against homosexuals.
Mind you, a large part of the reason why Gov. Deal vetoed this law was to protect the state’s economy and the jobs of the people living there, sort of like what’s happening in North Carolina. But apparently their hatred of the gay community is so strong that they would rather see the state suffer economically just as long as they were allowed to force their bigotry on LGBT Americans.
It’s embarrassing that, in 2016, we’re still having the debate over whether or not we should allow American citizens to be discriminated against. Though I hesitate to call it a “debate” because there’s not really much of a discussion about this – Republicans are flat-out wrong. Just like southern conservatives were wrong about slavery, women’s suffrage, segregation and bans on interracial marriage… they’re wrong about this as well.
Religion is not, nor has it ever been, a Constitutional excuse to deny a certain group of Americans their rights. If it were, then people could simply cite the excuse of “it’s against my religion” to justify racism, sexism and all sorts of other disgusting or absurd things.
I have no doubt that years from now when we look back upon this time, and those who supported these laws, that we’re going to be ashamed there were so many among us who harbored such incredible ignorance.