Out of all the defenses that have been presented of Indiana’s “religious freedom” law, leave it to Bill O’Reilly to come up with the most bizarre.
On the April 6 edition of “The O’Reilly Factor,” O’Reilly and his guest, Fox News’s token liberal, Juan Williams, discuss the comments made by former senator Rick Santorum, that a print shop owned by gay men should not have to make “God hates fags” signs for the Westboro Baptist Church. O’Reilly then makes the totally outrageous statement that anti-discrimination protections for LGBT citizens are like forcing a black person to attend a Ku Klux Klan rally. Huh?
O’Reilly’s reasoning, if there is any reason in it, goes something like this: People whose religion opposes homosexuality don’t want to participate in ceremonies such as same sex weddings. Black people don’t want to attend ceremonies such as KKK meetings. So, forcing businesses run by people who oppose gay marriage on religious grounds to provide goods and services for same-sex weddings is the same as forcing a black person to go to a KKK meeting.
The stupidity of that argument is just mind boggling. First, anti-discrimination protections for LGBT citizens don’t force Christian business owners to attend same sex weddings. Second, being black and not wanting to attend a Klan rally has nothing to do with religion. It most likely has to do with a desire for personal safety.
For the last part of the segment, O’Reilly brings in conservative blogger Mary Katharine Ham. O’Reilly and Ham discuss the Santorum comment, and Ham basically says “liberals, be careful what you wish for, because these ‘religious freedom’ laws protect you, too.”
Of course, O’Reilly and Ham miss the fact that Santorum’s hypothetical situation is about a business rejecting a message of hate, and that hate speech is not protected. It’s interesting that, in the right’s attempt to create an example where a gay-owned business would refuse service to a religious person, hate speech always seems to be part of the equation.
Watch the whole segment, filled with strange analogies and false equivalencies, via Media Matters: