Thursday, March 19, 2015

Religious Freedom Restoration Act Up For Vote Any Day

Any day now, the Indiana House is due to vote on Senate Bill 101 which is better known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

I'm going to assume it will pass, and I'm also going to assume that Governor Mike Pence will sign the bill.  When he does, that will give people ammunition to use their religion as a weapon to justify discrimination in the Hoosier State.

We have come to yet another crossroads in the state known as the Crossroads of America.  The disdain some have for the rights of others to marry the person they feel they were meant to love has caused us to arrive at this moment in time for our state.  Opponents may not be able to stop same sex couples from getting hitched, but, by golly, they don't have to tolerate it in their place of business, and they can now justify it in their actions.

Some will cheer when the legislation is passed.  I'll shrug my shoulders because I'm used to it here in Indiana.  Actually, most classes of minorities have been persecuted at one point or another here in the Hoosier State.  Why should gay people be any different?  The good news is that somewhere, sometime that someone sees the light.

Last June, I was in Tennessee when news broke that I could someday get married in my home state of Indiana if I wanted to do so.  That was something I never thought I'd see, and I cried happy tears as I saw men and women like me running to the Clerk's Offices to get married.  I saw the tide moving fast as my friend Andy Markle and others reported county-by-county which ones were issuing marriage licenses.  While my smile grew broader that day, I imagine someone else in this state's sneer grew more.  His or her soul harder and heart less tolerant.  The seeds of this moment were planted to grow.  More divisiveness was the goal.

We live in a tough time right now.  The headlines from around the world aren't good, and some days it seems easier to lie in bed and let the day pass by.  Hoosiers don't do that.  We're at our hearts good people who pretty much want the same thing for our families, no matter the structure.

That's why it's so hard for me to believe that we can't find a way to let in a little ray of tolerance for one another.  Why can't we realize that life is way too short for these kinds of trivial pieces of legislation.  Whether we simply die and go away or we live forever in the afterlife, life here on Earth would be better in the meantime if we looked out for one another a little more. This bill won't accomplish anything but make it harder to do that.

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