We’ve heard a lot recently about the continued attempt by many Republicans across the country to push for “religious freedom” bills which basically allow businesses to discriminate against homosexuals. Many have tried to spin this as nothing more than a stance for “religious freedom,” but it’s clear to anyone with even a shred of common sense that these laws are aimed at giving businesses the right to refuse their service to gay Americans. The reality is, calling these laws “religious freedom” really opens the door for anyone to cite religion as a means to discriminate against almost anyone.
Naturally, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been a very vocal supporter of these laws. After all, he’s been blatantly pandering to the religious right for years hoping that will help him win the GOP nomination in 2016.
Well, during an interview discussing “religious liberty,” Cruz went off on some sort of religious rant that I can only describe as nothing but pure gibberish.
“Nobody in their right mind would force a Catholic priest to perform a Protestant wedding,” Cruz said. “Likewise, nobody in their right mind would force a Jewish rabbi to perform a Christian wedding or, for that matter, to violate kosher and go consume pork. We have long had a tradition from the beginning of this country of respecting religious liberty and accommodating and respecting the good-faith religious views of our citizens.”
“And it is only the intolerance of the current day of the far-left that views with which they disagree,” he continued. “The far-left is such a radical proponent of gay marriage that anyone whose faith teaches to the contrary, anyone whose faith teaches that marriage is a sacrament of one man and one woman, a holy union before God, the far-left views that religious view as unacceptable and they’re trying to use the machinery of the law to crush those religious views. And I think it is wrong, I think it is intolerant, and I think it is entirely inconsistent with who we are as a people.”
So, because gay Americans just want to be able to live their lives just like straight Americans, with the same rights and protections under the law as everyone else, that’s somehow perpetuating intolerance?
Look, nobody – nobody – is forcing a church to perform a gay wedding. Nobody is even trying to force people who oppose gay marriage to approve of same-sex marriage. But what we’re trying to do is use the law to prevent these people from forcing their views on others. If someone doesn’t agree with gay rights, that’s their personal right to do so. But what they cannot do, and what the law cannot do, is deny millions of Americans the rights they’re rightfully owed because of the personal religious views of some.
Not only that, but as a business owner you cannot discriminate against people – period. If you sell wedding cakes and a gay couple wants to purchase one, you cannot refuse service based upon your personal feelings of ignorance and bigotry about their sexual orientation just like they couldn’t deny someone service based on the color of their skin if they were racists.
Private citizens are allowed to be as racist or bigoted as they want, but a business cannot. It’s really that simple.
Nobody in this country is trying to deny the right of anyone to be as religious as they want. All those of us who support equal rights for homosexuals (as well as a separation of church and state) are trying to do is what our Constitution intended – keep religion out of our laws.
When two gay people get married, that has zero impact on a heterosexual couple who doesn’t believe they should have the right to do so. But when those two heterosexual people have the power to deny that gay couple the right to marry, that does interfere in the personal lives – and freedoms – of those two people who are seeking marriage equality.
Unfortunately, people like Ted Cruz just seem completely unable to grasp even that simple of a concept.