Freedom Discussions

Gays Should Support ‘Religious Freedom’ Laws

by Julie Borowski

Demonstrators gather at Monument Circle to protest a controversial religious freedom bill recently signed by Governor Mike Pence, during a rally in Indianapolis March 28, 2015.  More than 2,000 people gathered at the Indiana State Capital Saturday to protest Indianaís newly signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act saying it would promote discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation.  REUTERS/Nate Chute

Demonstrators gather at Monument Circle to protest a controversial religious freedom bill recently signed by Governor Mike Pence, during a rally in Indianapolis March 28, 2015. More than 2,000 people gathered at the Indiana State Capital Saturday to protest Indianaís newly signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act saying it would promote discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation. REUTERS/Nate Chute

Religious freedom laws have been framed as “anti-gay.” These laws essentially allow business owners to deny service based on religious objections. Most often, they have been applicable to Christian business owners in the wedding industry who say that participating in sex-same wedding nuptials violates their religious beliefs.

Many people have focused on the issue from the standpoint of these business owners. Agree with them or not, they have their personal reasons on why they do not want to provide services for gay weddings. It’s over the line for the government to force them to bake a cake or provide photography for a event that goes against their beliefs. It’s their business and they have every right to say, “no.”

However, few people have focused on how religious freedom laws actually benefit gay people.

You might be asking: why would a gay person support a law that permits discrimination against them?

Because discrimination, in this instance, means more transparency.

The opposite of religious freedom laws are anti-discrimination laws. These laws forbid businesses from denying service to people based on a number of factors including sexuality. While these laws are likely well-intended, the problem from the customer’s point of view is the lack of transparency about business owners.

They do not change anyone’s views. They do not make anti-gay marriage bakery owners suddenly join gay pride parades. What they do is tell the business owner:“shh, keep your anti-gay marriage views to yourself!”

From the perspective of an engaged gay couple, this is dangerous.

It’s for their wedding day. They certainly want a baker who’s going to bake a good cake and a photographer who actually wants to be there. I don’t know about you, but when I’m forced to do something against my will, I tend to do a half-butt job.

They shouldn’t have to take that risk on such an important day in their lives.

What’s more is that they are giving their money to anti-gay marriage business owners without even knowing it. Shouldn’t gay couples want to know if someone opposes gay marriage before they hire them for their gay wedding?

That way, if so, they can take their money elsewhere to a business that has no problem with it. Cya. Their loss is someone else’s gain.

It’s much better for customers if business owners are open about their views. Particularly, if customers find their views disgusting so they know to stay away.

For example, I grew up in a household that boycotted Ben and Jerry’s ice cream because of their political views. If you didn’t know, Ben and Jerry are super liberaland openly support liberal causes with their ice cream profits. Because of that, my family never brought any Chunky Monkey.

Liberals are capable of doing the same to openly conservative businesses. Some boycott Chick-fil-A because their owner is openly against gay marriage. Some boycott Hobby Lobby because their owners are openly against certain types of birth control.

Gay couples should also be able to boycott wedding vendors that are against them getting married. Religious freedom laws do them a favor by telling them which businesses to avoid.

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