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    Posted February 26, 2014 by
    k3vsDad
    Location
    Farmersburg, Indiana
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Arizona's 'religious freedom' bill vetoed

    More from k3vsDad

    When Rights Collide - AZ SB1062

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     k3vsDad shares his views on the controversial anti-gay bill, SB 1062, that was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer on Wednesday, February 26. Read more about Brewer's decision on CNN.
    - Verybecoming, CNN iReport producer

    Across  the nation sides are drawing lines and staking claim to be on firm  constitutional ground over legislation passed this week by the Arizona  legislature and vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer.

    Supporters  of the bill say it is necessary to protect religious freedom from an  assault by gays, lesbians and bisexuals to force believers to sin by  providing accomodation in businesses open to the public for same-gender  couples and even single GLBT persons. Proponents cite the 1st Amendment  prohibition against any law which would restrict "the free exercise  thereof" a particular religion.

    Opponents  of the bill, mostly GLBT and Democrats, see this as state-sanctioned  discrimination based on religious belief contrary to the Establishment  Clause of the 1st Amendment which bars the establishment of a state  religion as well as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th  Amendment.

    This is clearly a case of "when rights collide".

    It  is said there is a fine line between insanity and genius. In this  situation, I do believe, that both sides have crossed the line into the  insane. Not that all have, but some of the more outspoken of each camp  have gone beyond the reasonable into the shrill and unreasonable.

    Growing  up the son and grandson of ministers in the Cleveland, Tennessee-based  Church of God, a fundamentalist, evangelical, Pentecostal denomination, I  do understand where many Christian conservatives are coming from,  though many Christians of other religious organizations do not read and  interpret the Scripture the same way. Not all Christian bodies find  homosexuality a sin or something God condemns. Many believe the opposite  that God loves all and created all just the way they are.

    At  the same time being an openly gay male in a long-term committed  relationship living in a decidedly socially conservative state where  same-gender couples have no rights under state law, I understand why  some see the Arizona law yet another way to bash and continue to subdue  GLBT as second class citizens.

    Businesses  open to the public are just that - open to the public - no matter who  the clientele. Churches and other Houses of Worship are a different  story.

    Businesses awarded a license by the state to serve the public must serve all the public.

    Religious  organizations, their ministers, rabbis, imams, priests, pastors and  preachers are free to practice their faith and not ask God's blessing on  any couple if it goes against their religious belief.

    Both situations are rooted in constitutional protection.

    The  idea of "we deserve the right to refuse service" has its place, but  there are consequences. Unless there is a legitimate reason for refusal  of service, a business owner, a company, is subject to civil action and  may be found wanting. What this law does is codify the right to  discriminate without reprecussion simply because a business owner or  company does not like people who are GLBT and claim it is on religious  grounds.

    That is a big difference.

    Do  we want to begin granting accomodation for discrimination - any  discrimination - with no oversight or redress or recourse under law?

    I think not.

    Individual  freedom and equal protection must be protected and upheld. Freedom to  exercise one's religious beliefs must also be protected and upheld.

    It is not all or nothing.

    The  law already provides for religious accomodation. The law already  provides for redress by those who think they have been discriminated  against without justifcation.

    My  fellow GLBT who seek to force religious organizations to go against  heartfelt religious belief and conduct ceremonies of unity are wrong.

    My  fellow evangelical Christians who attempt to hide behind self-righteous  indignation should remember what Jesus said when people were talking  about Him for eating with sinners and tax collectors and consorting with  prostitutes. The Christ pointed out it's not what goes in the body that  defiles a person, but what comes out of a person's mouth when his  Disciples were chastised by the religious leaders of the day for not  washing their hands before eating.

    There  is no equality when either side attempts to deny the other side  accomodation and equality. There is no right when either side attempts  to trample the right of the other.

    Governor  Brewer was right to veto this bill, as written, because it would have  gone too far and pitted rights against rights in a battle that need not  be.

    From the Cornfield, times are changing.

    Both  sides run the risk of turning off the middle if either side pushes too  far or crosses that line between genius and insanity.

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