By Kassandra Garcia |Staff Writer|
The state of Indiana has been faced with national criticism due to their implementation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
In my opinion, the act creates a huge set back in equality because it allows people to justify discriminatory acts as religious choice, but is plain bigotry.
When I first heard about the RFRA being enacted, I thought it was a joke. How is it still possible to allow this type of backwards thinking? This law offers no protection for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community because it allows the possibility of discrimination.
Indiana’s Legislature and Governor Michael Pence put RFRA into place, which essentially made it legal and defensible to discriminate against individuals so long as it’s based on a person or organization’s religious beliefs.
This led thousands of individuals and organizations to social media, where they hailed this as a massive LGBTQ discrimination act. The argument that business owners could justifiably refuse service to those in the LGBTQ community led to articles such as “Indiana pizza shop won’t cater gay wedding, gets over $5,000 from supporters.”
Personally, I see this as an attack on the LGBTQ community. According to The Daily Callers it shows that the “statewide Indiana law expressly legalized refusal to serve gays.”
This form of business does not promote any growth in society, it causes a social restraint that Indiana chooses to push aside.
Indiana Legislature quickly responded to the backlash by explaining that the law was not created to authorize discrimination but rather to protect free exercise of religion.
They then promised to revise the act and clarify the language.
The Legislature then added, “the law does not give businesses the right to deny services to anyone.”
Still after being revised, the law does not serve any real statewide protection on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It should also be noted that the revision act still essentially favors the ideals of conservatives.
“These are, frankly, plain, vanilla religious protections,” said law professor Robin Wilson.
If that is not disheartening enough, right wing conservatives are claiming to be unhappy with the law because the revision has diminished the act’s original intention, according to MSNBC.
Now what exactly was the intention? “It’s about keeping government from being used as a weapon to force people to violate their beliefs,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
He then turns the issue around by claiming that he and many other Christians are feeling societal pressures to conform to certain ideals and that the whole argument is about “attacking Christians and their beliefs.”
In my opinion, Perkins is doing a horrible job at trying to defend Indiana Conservatives.
He chooses to ignore the real problem by saying that Christians are the ones who are truly suffering.
His argument is irony at its finest.
He is claiming that he and other Christians are being oppressed but how is it that oppressors can be oppressed?
The RFRA truly serves as a license to discriminate and should be sent back for further revision or better yet, abolished.