Indiana passed a law last week, and since then, Indiana has been reviled, mocked, and boycotted. And what is the uproar about? According to Stanford law Professor Bernadette Meyer, the law appeared to be aimed at allowing companies to discriminate against same-sex couples or gay people. She said: “I am disturbed when that articulation of rights, as in the Indiana law, winds up trumping other people’s interests in equality.” Apparently Ms. Meyer believes that the interests of special interest groups trump the rights of ordinary people.
As soon as the Indiana law was passed, and in order to show how open and tolerant they are, individuals, major corporations like Apple and Walmart, and even the governors of other states, widely and wildly condemned Indiana’s law, in spite of the fact that many other states including their own have similar laws. They said they feared that bigots would use the law to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
(By the way, in most cases, discrimination is a good thing. I’ve landed in my 70s through no choice of my own, yet if I now decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming, say, an airline pilot, how far along in the process do you think I’d get? They’d take one look at my birth year, 1943, and politely show me the door. And perhaps, justifiably suggest I see a psychiatrist.)
Anyway, in order to get a juicy story, a TV news reporter went into a small pizza shop owned by Christian family in a very small Indiana town. She asked the owner’s daughter a hypothetical question about their response if a same-sex couple asked them to provide pizza at their wedding. The daughter of the owner said that, because of their religious faith, they would probably decline.
A vicious Twitter campaign was launched against the pizza shop, and the next day they closed down. But the campaign backfired massively. A woman who believes in freedom of religion started a counter campaign to raise funds for the owners of the pizza shop. In two days $842,000 was raised, about eight times the pizza joint’s annual sales. They now intend to remodel and reopen. Remember that story the next time you shake your head sadly and say: “But what can we do?”
Since 1963, I have been speaking out on behalf of the rights of gay people to live their lives without interference or oppression from the rest of society. But we’ve gone way too far. The radical gay lobby now insists that their choices override everyone else’s rights, including the right to peacefully practice your religion.
In the history of marriage, has there ever been an unfettered right to marry? There has not. The right to same sex marriage is assumed by its supporters and now conferred by the government. In that, a same sex marriage is different than any heterosexual marriage in history.
Only in the case of war, or civil emergency, has anyone ever had a right to force someone to participate in something that goes against their conscience. It has been done, but only by governments we generally regard as totalitarian. Are we prepared to accept this in Western Society?
Let us concede that most gays have no choice about their sexual orientation. But without question, gay or straight, we all have multiple choices regarding lifestyle, association, and whom to marry. And whether you’re a gay couple, or straight, it’s you who makes the choice about whom you’d like to perform your ceremony, or cater to your wedding. If your choice declines, make another choice.
Because it takes a boatload of chutzpah to insist that your choice to have your same-sex wedding catered to by whomever you choose overrides the rights of another individual to practice their religion as their conscience dictates, and that the government is obligated to back your choice.
We need to push back against this nonsense, and the fact that tens of thousands got together and did, and bailed out the pizza shop, goes to prove that when we work together we can successfully push back.
Remember that, because in the next few weeks I will be asking you to join the Let’s Do It Ourselves online community so we can do just that; push back, inexpensively, pro-actively, and effectively.
For a hilarious and satirical take on the Indiana issue, follow this link to where Rex Murphy deftly skewers the Pecksniffian pretensions of the Apple and Walmart CEOs. http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/rex-murphy-apple-and-walmart-have-no-business-casting-stones