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The Legalization of Gay Marriage is Not The End of The Gay Rights Struggle
Same-Sex Marriage is Just The Tip of The Iceberg.
The Supreme Court recently legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. This is a milestone for gay rights in this country, but this is just the tip of the iceberg in the Gay Rights battle. As expected their has been a lot of backlash from the Religious community and from conservative politicians and pundits.Texas Governor Greg Abbot encouraged County clerks to defy Federal law, If they had religious objections to Gay marriage. He incorrectly invoked the First Amendment..
In his statement he said:
“Texans of all faiths must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that their religious freedom is beyond the reach of government,” Renewing and reinforcing that promise is all the more important in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. The government must never pressure a person to abandon or violate his or her sincerely held religious beliefs regarding a topic such as marriage. That sort of religious coercion will never be a ‘compelling governmental interest,’ and it will never be ‘the least restrictive means of furthering that interest. With these obligations in mind, I expect all agencies under my direction to prioritize compliance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Article I of the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act. All state agency heads should ensure that no one acting on behalf of their agency takes any adverse action against any person, as defined in Chapter 311 of the Texas Government Code, on account of the person’s act or refusal to act that is substantially motivated by sincere religious belief. This order applies to any agency decision, including but not limited to granting or denying benefits, managing agency employees, entering or enforcing agency contracts, licensing and permitting decisions, or enforcing state laws and regulations.”
In his statement it seems as If he believes that state law trumps federal law, which just isn't true. A lot of Neocons seem to believe that some how states rights supersede the rule of the federal government. If this was the case there would be no purpose for the federal government. Time and time again the religious right misinterprets the First Amendment to mean that religious people are free to discriminate.
The New Jim Crow
With both the Governor, and Attorney General of Texas encouraging county clerks to defy federal law in the name of "religious freedom," and two county clerks in Kentucky refusing to issue marriage licenses altogether, we are seeing a rise in discrimination based on "religious freedom." We have states like Indiana with its religious freedom law allowing businesses to decline services to gays, such as Memories Pizza, which refused to cater a gay wedding. The only Memories this Pizza parlor will have will be being the wrong side of history. Amyx Hardware in Grainger County Tennessee put up a no gays allowed sign in his window, siting once a gain (you guessed it ) religious freedom. Freedom of religion means that you can practice any religion you want to, or none at all. Yes, regardless of what our "friends" at Fox news say, the first Amendment does give us freedom from religion. As a matter of fact, The primary purpose of the Establishment Clause is freedom from religion. The First Amendment does not Allow you to force religion on public schools, doesn't allow you to force your way of life on other people, and doesn't not allow discrimination based on "your" religious beliefs. If you don't want to serve the gay community, it's simple, stay out of government and stay out of Business.
These kind of laws, and this kind of behavior is reminiscent of another time period. It was called the "Jim Crow" era. In this time period there was a set of laws in the south called Jim Crow laws. These laws allowed the discrimination against, and the segregation of black people. Then, like in the case of Gay Rights and Gay Marriage, they used the Bible and religion to Justify their behavior, Just as they also did to justify slavery. Nowadays it is Illegal to discriminate against black people, but in many states it is still lawful for employers to discriminate against the LGBT community. In these states is is lawful to fire someone, or deny them employment if they are Gay. The Obama Administration tried to pass a Anti-discrimination bill, a couple of years ago, but it was shot down by A Republican controlled congress. These laws that allow Businesses to refuse service to gays is, like those previously mentioned, Unconstitutional, yet nothing is being done.
The LGBT Community Must Persevere
I do Urge the gay community to rejoice in their new found right to marry. Get married, and make your weddings Fabulous!!! Have fun, celebrate, but don't back down from the fight for equal rights for the LGBT community. The fight will not be over until you have the same rights as us Heterosexuals. We need to open up minds. I may be in full of support.of Gay rights now, but up until about 18 years ago I was A homophobic young man. . I was a person who had a horrible outlook towards the gay community. I was not this way because of religion. It was simply the result of growing up in a homophobic society.
I was homophobic because I didn't know any gay people. This is how I realized I was wrong. I had a an old high school friend, who was not gay, but had gay friends. When he introduced me to them I did not Know they were gay, I thought they were really cool guys, then I found out they were gay. I didn't say or do anything disrespectful, but became very uncomfortable, and started thinking terrible things about them. Then I thought "What the hell is wrong with me? I thought they were cool before I knew they were gay, but now I have a problem with them. That is so stupid!" That was my epiphany, and it hit me like a thunder bolt. They were just like the rest of us , they are just attracted to the same sex. They aren't out there trying to turn straight men or women gay. there is no "Gay Agenda." The only Agenda they have is to have the same rights that the rest of us have. Is that so wrong? If we deny rights to a particular group or class, what right do we have to call the United States a free country? Stay strong LGBT community and stay vigilant.