I hate to say I told you so, oh wait, no I really don’t. (Just ask my husband!) Indiana, I told you so! More than a year ago, I wrote about Arizona and how Governor Jan Brewer was sent a bill for her to sign or veto: SB 1062. The law was similar to what Indiana Governor, Mike Pence, just signed last Thursday. I predicted that should it pass in Arizona, the state and its business owners would be in for a rude awakening. Well, Jan Brewer is just a little smarter than Mr. Pence is, I guess because she realized, “Gay people, and their allies have a lot of money. Maybe I should tread lightly.” And then she vetoed the bill. Pence signed it without hesitation and now he’s trying to backpedal, acting both surprised at everyone else’s reactions, and trying to claim that this bill is no different than other bills in as many as nineteen states. That it’s not about discrimination, but about protecting an individual’s religious rights…
But the problem is that people are smart, and they know how to read, and they’re just not buying the crap he’s selling. I think here is what fanatics don’t understand that other people understand:
I mean seriously, if baking a cake for a gay couple is strong enough to break your faith, your faith wasn’t strong enough in the first place.
While I am not happy that such institutionalized hate passed for law in any state, I feel humbled and incredibly happy by the response. Large companies are publically condemning Indiana, and they’re putting their money where their mouths are, pulling out of projects that mean major revenue and thousands of jobs for the state. (Thank you, Angie’s List.) A gaming convention is also likely to be canceled costing the state 50 million in revenue, and Salesforce is taking a stand as well, meaning thousands of jobs will be gone…
And it’s not just businesses that are taking a stand. Other politicians (governors of other states and a few mayors of major cities) are canceling and banning any travel to the state on the government’s dime. Athletes, celebrities are calling out Pence and the rest of the state, intending to cancel sporting events and other gestures to show they are united against all forms of hate, oppression and discrimination – and no matter how state officials and Pence try to dress this up as something else – the majority of people know the difference. Bigotry wrapped in prayer, is still bigotry.
I hope this sets a precedent for anyone else considering playing the religion card to try to oppress or harm a number of people. Because not only is it not right, it isn’t going to work out so well for them. Here is the thing that a lot of extremely religious people don’t get – no religion is actually against you serving gay people. Nowhere in the bible does it state to refuse service to homosexuals. Nowhere. There are only a few passages that reference homosexuality at all, and they always reference sex – not even marriage. So technically a sexless homosexual marriage is very Christian. So for the few business owners who spout bigotry and stand behind this bill, I have to question not only their faith, but their knowledge and insight into the religion they claim to practice.
I am a business owner, and sometimes I work for people who get on my nerves. Or people who are so obnoxious I want to scream. Sometimes I work for guys who are so sexist and chauvinistic that I feel they should be case studies. And I’m sorry but being anti-woman is against my religion. Yet, I do the job, and I do it well, so they can be on their way, and I can be done with them. And if they come back, I do it again. Business is business. It is not personal, or based on religion or politics. It’s about making something of yourself, living the American dream, which coincidentally was all about separating church and state. Any business owner who doesn’t understand this is not a good businessperson period. If they only knew how many non-gay customers they would lose, if other people knew that the business in question practiced discrimination towards any group of people, their heads would spin. And quite frankly that is something I would love to see.
So maybe this being passed (temporarily) is a good thing. Hopefully it will point out all the stupid and hateful people behind the helms of businesses and people will simply go on to do business with their “accepting” competitors. And with most of the hate mongers out of business, it gives politicians less hot air to fill their hateful sails with. And that is something I can definitely get on board with.
Wake up Indiana, the rest of the country is waiting. And we’ll probably stop laughing at you too… but give us a few moments please.
*I say Indiana because of the state officials (legislature and the governor) who backed this bill. But I know from articles and public outcry that a great deal of people who live in Indiana, particularly business owners, are against the bill and publically condemning it. Bravo to them, and they are not included in this “wake up” request when I simply address Indiana. Look for these stickers as a telltale signal that the Indiana business in question, certainly does not discriminate.