Indiana SB 101 :
Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
When we talk about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA there are a few questions we come face to face with. These typical questions in this case are a few of the following: Can a restaurant deny service to a person who is gay? Will a Christian baker refuse to make a wedding cake for same-sex couple’s weddings? Will we protect priest from the issue of performing same-sex marriages? Do they even need “protection”?
The problem with these questions is that the answers depend on whom you are asking. Each party strongly believes that he is the one who is right. It’s rather hard to decide to whit what team a person should side with, but in the end it all comes down to a person’s personal beliefs. So in this case the debates can go on and on, spiraling in a way further and further from the law itself reaching other subjects.
In my opinion it will do little as a law, it simply sets a standard; because the religious freedom law clearly states that the government cannot intrude one a person’s religious liberty, unless it can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden.
So taking in consideration this fact it leaves room for interpretation, making the law more flexible and in the same time giving a chance to lawyers to find loopholes that can determine how the particular case will end.
To determine who is wright and who is wrong could be determined only if we take each and every case apart and examine it closely not leaving out any details and still in the end, even if a result will be reached there will be persons who will think a strong injustice has been done. Again, depending on through whose eyes the situation is being viewed.
The fact is that in Indiana there are not too many local nondiscrimination laws that are to protect gays and lesbians rights to employment, housing, education and public accommodation.
By accepting this law, my main concern is that these above mention nondiscrimination laws will be also challenged and even changed. By accepting this law it is like a stepping stone has been reached towards that direction. This would only mean another step backwards that will affect people who are different, but still part of the same community and should be treated in the same way as the specific community and its majority. The evidence of this can be easly seen by the fact that Governor Pence had to sign the papers behind closed doors. Shuting out people is not the answer!
Why shouldn’t a gay couple get married and adopt children? We can come up with numerous examples of straight people getting married and getting divorced, or on the constant visit list of a social worker for neglecting their children.
Personally I don’t think it is a good law. It has a vague definitions and it is a solution to problems that I don’t consider as problems but as differences that the majority of the people still hasn’t accepted and tries to make changes with small steps that will one day turn into a big issue that will affect the “different” community.
If we start to think about it is just a matter of who is viewing the situation. Gay people to heterosexual people are exactly as different as straight people to gay ones.
In conclusion I can say I’m not a religious person but I still defend rights to gay people and I do not support exceptions to laws of general applicability. Every people has the right to love whomever he or she desires and should have the possibility to express it by the way their desire it, even if it is a wedding cake with two grooms on the top.
By Széplaki Zita