Possibly, since it’s going forward at present. The Florida legislature is pondering a bill, which hopefully stands zero chance of passing, that’s yet another one of those stupid “Religious Freedom Bills”. This one comes with a bit of a twist, though: it would, in theory, allow doctors, hospitals, and the like, to refuse to treat gay people on religious grounds.
Apparently I have to say this again: if your religious belief comes into conflict with your job, you don’t get to ask your job to change for you. You have to change for it. You can either learn to deal or you can quit. Those are your options.
What you don’t get to do is pick and chose. You don’t get to say, “You’re gay, so I’m not going to sell pizza for your wedding/provide flowers/perform a life-saving operation.”
It doesn’t just go to the gay stuff, either. Doctors could refuse to perform abortions, provide birth control, implant IUDs, or whatever. Pharmacists could refuse to fill prescriptions that come into conflict with their religious belief. Hospitals could, I assume, refuse to allow legally married couples to visit each other in the hospital.
Now for those of you who want to say, “Well, that’s all bad, but that’s their religious right!” I would point out that, no, it isn’t. Religious rights don’t trump the public interest. Religious rights are not all-encompassing. Also, this can easily be used as a weapon back at the Christians who think they’re being victimized. Once this law is passed, imagine how easy it would be for a Muslim or Jewish doctor to refuse to treat someone on the basis of religion. And why stop there? I’ve used the example of interracial couples before. If someone truly believes interracial marriage is a sin, why should they have to serve someone in an interracial marriage?
Lastly, let me point out that while people in the big cities of Miami, Orlando and the like might have plenty of options when it comes to health care, not everyone does. If you’re a poor person living in a small town and the town’s only doctor refuses to provide you birth control, and even if they did, the town’s only pharmacist would refuse to fill the prescription, what are you supposed to do?
This, and laws like it, are bad, stupid, wrong, and fundamentally un-American. I can’t imagine them standing up in court, but I don’t want to have people suffering while we wait for the courts to sort out the issue. So I dearly hope Florida doesn’t pass this. We shall see.