Indiana is a hotbed of controversy right now. It has just enacted a new religious liberty law that some have deemed dangerous even as nineteen other states have similar laws on the books. The law allows certain business to refuse services for reasons of religious objection, mainly participation in same-sex marriage ceremonies. Opponents to the law compare it to discrimination against black people or blow it out of proportion by stating the law allows hospitals to deny services to gay people, none of which is true. In recent years as the federal courts have struck down same-sex marriage bans in many states some businesses like florist and bakers have been targeted by activists and even have had to close because they stood on their religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.
I would submit to you that if a Jewish deli owner was asked to cater a Nazi rally or a black t-shirt store owner was asked to make t-shirts for the KKK and they refused these organizations would not be able to sue and force the business owners to provide the services. On the other hand, at least two shop owners in Indiana have been sued by activists for refusing service that they feel violate their religious beliefs. This is the definition of double standard. If one business can refuse to participate in something they deem offensive then that standard should apply to all businesses.
The issue with Indiana’s law is not about services available because there are florists, bakers, caterers, and clergy that are all too happy to provide their services for same-sex ceremonies. The real issue here is to silence those who on religious or even scientific or moral grounds oppose same-sex marriage. To compare this to discrimination based on race is a stretch. These business are not refusing to make arrangements or bake cakes for everyday use such as birthdays or funerals but one specific event, same-sex weddings. This is not discrimination against people but rather a choice not to participate which, when I was growing up, business reserved the right to refuse service for any reason. This is about forced acceptance, not equality.
Before you start calling me a hater and threaten to kill me let me make one thing perfectly clear. I have a gay cousin. He and his partner are always welcomed in our home we love both of them even though we disagree with their lifestyle we always treat both of them with respect and kindness. We do pray for them and wish them nothing but the best but we don’t condone the lifestyle they choose to live. What people do, who they choose to be with whether straight or gay doesn’t matter to me but I will draw the line at forced acceptance and forced participation in something that would violate a person’s Constitutionally protected right to religious freedom.