The social conservatives behind Indiana’s anti-gay law intended the law to shield business owners from same-sex marriage. This is despite the fact that Indiana lawmakers, including Governor Mike Pence and others on the right, insisted that the law was not about discrimination. However, even as Pence signed it into law, they cheered their victory against marriage equality.
The Washington Post reports that one press release proclaimed:
VICTORY AT THE STATEHOUSE!
Christian bakers, florists and photographers should not be punished for refusing to participate in a homosexual marriage!
The Post also says that these people see a distinction between turning away an LGBT customer, and refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding. The problem is, there is no distinction. If you do weddings, but you refuse to do a same-sex wedding, you’re turning away LGBT customers because they’re LGBT.
According to the Post’s article on this, a spokesman for the Alliance Defending Freedom said that cooking a rack of lamb and putting it on a table in front of someone is not endorsing their marriage. However, for, say, a wedding singer, if someone says, “We want you to perform all the ceremonies at our wedding,” that does amount to endorsing their marriage.
That could be seen to be true. It turns into a problem, though, when that caterer uses the same religious freedom law that the wedding singer does to say, “Putting a rack of lamb on a table at a gay wedding violates my religious beliefs, so I’m not going to do it.”
During debates over Indiana’s anti-gay law, the “plight” of Christian wedding vendors was brought up repeatedly, according to the Post, despite the fact that the bill’s sponsors cited the Hobby Lobby contraception case instead of Christian wedding vendors. With those people’s “plight” brought up on the floor, though, the cries of, “It’s not meant to discriminate, and does not target the LGBT community,” are disingenuous at best. At worst, they’re outright lies.
Members of Fox News very recently said that they can’t understand what the purpose of Indiana’s anti-gay law is, now that its teeth have been removed with the “fix” that prohibits businesses from using the law to discriminate against anybody. They thought it was about discrimination, too, despite all their cries that it wasn’t.
So there it is. The truth behind Indiana’s anti-gay law is that its intent was…anti-gay.
Featured image “Rainbow Flag” by Benson Kua. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Cross image by Murraytheb. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Images merged and altered by Rika Christensen/Liberalistics