Govenor Pence does NOT speak for me!

graphic via Scott Spitz
graphic via Scott Spitz
Words can not describe how heavy my heart is. It has been days since Governor Pence has signed a bill referred to as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or SB 101. Under this bill, people who own businesses or offer services can deny services to someone due to their religious beliefs. This bill was formed in backlash to same-sex marriage becoming legal. They say it’s because the government is attacking their ability to be religious, but in no way are they concerned with attacking someone else’s belief or sexual orientation. Yet, again I am reminded that history does repeat itself. I am reminded that the state I reside in holds very different “values” then I do. Now instead of “No Colored Here” we are being inundated with business that are posting that they are “open for service”. While I am thankful that we have enough people speaking out against the outrage, it pains me to realize that this is even necessary. What pisses me off even more, is that it wasn’t until it became a reality that people even started to pay attention.
Even more frustrating is that Indiana had the lowest voter turnout in the country for this past mid-term election, at 29%. While Democrats only lost two seats, the House has 71 Republicans to make the decisions that affect us all. In this age of Republicans only uniting to protect themselves against Obama-isms and all things “liberal” we are left with things like SB 101. I applaud the 3 Republicans that went outside of party lines to vote against this bill. On the other hand, I am not really surprised that how many stuck with the herd mentality and voted yea. The scariest part of this is how far this damn bill could reach.
Most people think this is just about cupcakes, and it’s not. While the idea of comparing this to the lunch counters of the 50’s is powerful. This is much bigger than that. This bill is for legal disputes. While I have several friends that are lawyers and know not all of them are slimy, I also know that there are some hideous people out there. This bill will give anyone a cop-out that can make a judge or jury believe their religion allows said behavior. Now let me put this another way.
A woman gets raped by her husband… and yes this does happen. One situation that cold occur is she goes to the pharmacist to get the morning after pill. The pharmacist can deny her access to that pill because their religion tells them that “abortion” is a sin. On the other token, let’s say she does file charges against her rapists. His defense attorney can say that since they are married and since their “great book” says somewhere that a woman shall do as her husband says, he can possibly not be charged. What about the parent that puts their child in the hospital because they needed to teach them a lesson? “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Sounds like a reasonable defense, right? Let us not forget that slavery was defended because it was mentioned in the Bible as well. “Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, fearing the Lord.”
The implications are getting even bigger as businesses and multi-billion dollar corporations are pulling away from Indiana as we speak. The number one hashtag in the US right now is #boycottindiana. And to tell you the truth I don’t blame them. I’m uneasy about what can be and even questioning why I remain here. The past few years of my life I have worked to do what I can to make this city better… now I’m wondering what was the point. I’m beginning to fantasize about the idea of living some place that gives a damn about the same things I do. I wonder what I could accomplish in life if I wasn’t fighting against the “status quo” so much. I question what I could create if I was already in a place that supported the arts, and “alternative” lifestyles. At the least, to be some place that people took time out of their lives to vote for or against the people who make the legislation that affects their lives. There are times in life when you question if you are in the right place and this is for sure one of those times for me. Today, I right this in frustration, with a heavy heart and in hopes that tomorrow, I will use that energy to evoke change. Until then…

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