So the other day, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R…but you know that, of course), signed a very stupid bill into law. Basically it says that if someone has a discrimination suit filed against them, they can use their religious beliefs as a defense. This means that if a gay couple is getting married and a florist refuses to sell them flowers because
the florist hates money the florist’s religion hates gay people, then they may well be able to get away with it.
There has been much hand wringing and discussion over how to deal with this. My personal method? Ignore it and wait for it to implode on its own, which it will.
First off, I’m not 100% sure of the Constitutionality of this law. The Equal Protection Clause seems to potentially be a problem.
Second, just you wait. Just you wait until the first time someone refuses service to a black person, because their religion forbids mixing of the races. Or refuses service to a Jewish person because, c’mon, they’re Jews. Or imagine a Muslim refusing to sell things to a Christian. Hey, under this law, they can all get away with that, right?
Or suppose our money-hating florist up above (seriously! What kind of idiot turns down gay wedding flower money?), decides that he also hates mixed-race marriages, and won’t cater to people in that situation. Or mixed-religion marriages.
Don’t think any of this applies to you? Don’t think that any of this is realistically likely? Think again, because once the door is open to this kind of discrimination in any form, it’s open to it in all forms. It can and will apply to you and everyone else.
I know some people believe religious freedom should trump all, but please understand: once you decide to do business in the public square, you surrender certain amounts of freedom to do so, including religious freedom. You are not allowed to pick and choose to whom you will sell your flowers, or your wedding cakes, or whatever else. Don’t like it? Tough shit. Close down your business or sell it off. The Bible doesn’t require you to be making money, after all, and wealth was certainly something Jesus seemed to frown on.
So for those who are against this law, just wait. The courts and the far more ancient Law of Unintended Consequences will take it down.