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Much Ado About RFRA

Clinton signing the federal RFRA
And from this day forward, all gays shall flee our borders

In case you haven't heard, Indiana has just passed a law that makes it illegal to be gay. That's right, the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a licensure system designed to ensure that every citizen of the Hoosier State is a bonafide and certified hate-mongering homophobe. As the law clearly states, "Government may substantially burden a personís exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest." Holy crap, they're gonna start shooting lesbians in the streets next!

Okay, so maybe that's not what the law does. In fact, the law quoted above is actually the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law way back in the good old 1990's, approved by almost 100% of Congress and signed into law by President Clinton so that Native Americans could do drugs. Here's the same relevant part of the Indiana law: "A governmental entity may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest." Huh, that's almost word-for-word the same goddamn thing (replete with confusing statutory semi-colon)! No wonder we have so many lesbian shootings these days.

Have you ever heard such inflammatory, hateful language?

But let's ignore the well-trodden talking point that Indiana's RFRA is hardly unique (that 19 other states--including such hillbilly bastions as Massachusetts--have similar laws on the books) or that it has been supported in other places by the likes of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. After all, leaders are perfectly permitted to change their opinions over time. Maybe President Obama genuinely believes now that nobody deserves religious freedom in America and that every single RFRA should be repealed. Indeed, he did a complete 180 on gay marriage once it was politically expedient for him to do so. I'd believe that he thinks all state RFRAs should be repealed, because he doesn't think states should have any law other than his executive orders and various administrative memoranda.

Instead, let's focus on the real issue: rampant homophobia in Indiana and mandated discrimination. Clearly, this is no different than Jim Crow. Heck, it might be worse, because "the least restrictive means" is clearly legal code for "put those dirty queers in concentration camps."

Gay marriage cupcakes
This is the way the world ends; not with a bang, but with gay diabetes

This all started with that baker who refused to bake a cake for a homosexual marriage, which is what lead to the Great Colorado Homosexual Purge of 2012. That demonstrated that everybody who disagrees with a Democrat is a thinly-closetted bigot harboring all kinds of hatred for the LGBT community. Apparently, Indiana is simply riding the wave of backwards social progress that has defined America for decades now. I mean, thank goodness those evolution-denying Republicans in Congress are talking about taking away a woman's right to vote and are actively seeking to repeal those civil rights acts that they almost unanimously voted for back in the 50s and 60s.

But here's hoping Democrats stand firm and ensure that, someday, nobody will be allowed to discriminate anymore. Businesses won't be allowed to turn anyone away--indeed, they'll have to serve anyone--and people won't be able to choose which businesses to patronize, because that kind of discrimination is just unfair. No more bakers saying no to gay marriages, and no more Chick Fil-A boycotts. People will no longer have the right to make any choices based on personal, social, or religious beliefs. What a glorious day that will be!

Free Candy Van
It's about time Chuck-E-Cheese rethinks its whole "no child molesters allowed" policy

But why did Indiana even bother to pass their state's RFRA? Well, obviously, because the federal version that is in place is in great danger of being repealed by the biggest Republican majority in Congress in the last 80 years. If that asshole governor Mike Pence hadn't signed it into law, the government would be stepping in to burn your bibles and rape your children.

I mean, we all remember those Indiana protests from the last six years demanding a state RFRA. And those legal dramas all playing out in Indiana involving religious freedom; man, are they ever going to get off the front page of every national newspaper? Governor Pence has single-handedly managed to put an end to those headaches, by finally signing a law making it illegal to be gay. Now there should be no more controversy.

Mike Pence
Pay no attention to the innocent coincidence that Democrats are getting out their pitchforks for a potential Republican presidential candidate

I was having a debate about all this the other day, and this guy I was talking to must have been from an alternate reality. He claims that the MSNBC and Fox News narratives are just hyper-partisan exaggerations and that this RFRA business is much ado about nothing. He even went so far as to claim that nobody in Indiana is interested in discriminating against gay people, and that no government entity is interested in persecuting Christians! He tried to get me to believe that this is all political theater, that the law is a "solution in need of a problem" only designed to fire up the Republican base, and that the overblown reaction from the left is just designed to keep popular social issues that favor Democrats in the headlines. What a lunatic, right?

-e. magill 3/31/2015

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