Skip to main content

Saved by the Love of Money?


The Arizona state legislature recently passed a law which would allow businesses the right to refuse service to gay people based upon their religious convictions. Aside from some of the more obvious issues (How do you know for sure if a customer is gay? Can you ask them?), the legality and morality of the bill has been under intense public and media scrutiny. The pressure is on Arizona now to see where it stands in the history of civil rights.

While Governor Jan Brewer (who, for the record, I rather dislike) has the power to veto the bill, and it's even come under fire from three Republican state senators who voted for the damn thing, I have to admit to some astonishment that it's even come this far. This is Arizona. It's not a state of the Old South. I guess my expectations were perhaps too high. Regardless, we're in the year 2014 AD. Isn't our society supposed to be beyond such discrimination and segregation?

Of course, one reason for my astonishment would now appear to be our main hope in seeing the anti-gay bill's demise: greed. See, I'd always assumed that the love of money would triumph someone's morals. It seems to have so far, at least in the last half-century or so. Businesses and lawmakers are too desperate for dollars to try and pass discriminatory legislation. Or so I thought. There seems to be a corporate backlash occurring at the moment, something which -- oddly -- appears to be taking Arizona lawmakers by surprise. But at least it's got their attention.

I can't help but shake my head at how a non-theocratic country seems to have a desire to enshrine religious intolerance into its laws of late. Take the state laws allowing pharmacists the right to refuse to sell the morning-after pill, for example, due to their religious sensibilities. Why is that? Does a bookstore clerk who, due to religious reasons, doesn't want to sell a tome written by Sean Hannity because they disagree with him (on religious grounds) also have the right to do so? What about the bed & breakfast owners who don't want to rent to gay couples? How about Muslim business owners who don't want to serve Christians or Jews?

Obviously, this is getting ridiculous. We live in a world with other people. Often, other people are different than we are. It's high time we got over that. Here in the U.S., we don't live in a theocracy, so our religious views (or views that we couch in religion) are not supposed to be legislated, especially not for discriminatory purposes. Look, people, just do your jobs. If you want, go home after work and rant & rave about the gays, blacks, Muslims, Jews, promiscuous heathens, foreigners and whoever else pisses off your insecure little brains, if that makes you feel any better.

It probably won't, though. Bigotry, like still waters, runs deep. And it's hard for anything to help a person feel better about it. They still have to live with themselves, after all.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.