Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Has the Marriage Equality Backlash Just Begun?

Here in Virginia homophobe extraordinaire Del. Bob Marshal has introduced a bill which, if passed would give wholesale license to Christofascists to discriminate against gays based on religious convictions against same sex marriage or homosexuality in general.  Thankfully, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vowed to veto the bill if it manages to pass the General Assembly.   Meanwhile, formerly far right conservative clubs such as the James River Country Club in nearby Newport News are accepting married same sex couples (the husband and I are now members of an old line yacht club).  Thus, the reaction to marriage equality in Virgina is divergent at best.  The same phenomenon is being witnessed across America, with anti-gay efforts wrapped in the smoke screen of protecting "religious freedom."  A piece in The Advocate looks at the situation.  Here are article excerpts:

Scott and Daniel Wall-DeSousa are now free to drive anywhere they like in the state of Florida. Previously, the state had refused to issue the couple accurate drivers' licenses after they married in New York and hyphenated their name, but state officials have since relented.

This is a victory for gay and lesbian couples in Florida, but we certainly haven't seen the last of bureaucrats and legislators creating roadblocks to same-sex couples who seek to wed.

Sometimes, those roadblocks will take the form of a minor headache and expense, like when clerks in several northern Florida counties stopped offering courthouse marriages for all couples rather than solemnize the unions of same-sex partners, or when a wedding planner informed a lesbian couple that she couldn't plan their wedding because she was overbooked — and also because she didn't "feel comfortable" with their sexual orientation. But in Virginia, where a proposed bill would let hospitals turn away LGBT patients, the consequences could be far more dire.

Around the country, other antigay legislation would rescind local nondiscrimination ordinances or force clerks to disobey pro-equality court rulings. Some lawmakers are pushing bills that would make it harder for LGBT people to do business, and others laws could facilitate evictions and firings.

With their marriage bans overturned after nearly 20 years, the only recourse available to antigay legislators consists of laws that make it easier to discriminate — often couched in language claiming to protect "religious freedom."

The take away?  Get ready for all kinds of batshitery under the guise of "protecting religious freedom."  

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