A Vulgar Challenge to Progress

As a lot of you probably heard, Georgia’s state legislature recently passed a controversial “religious liberty” bill. If signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, this bill will allow churches and other faith-based organizations to refuse to perform same-sex weddings, a clear challenge to last year’s Supreme Court historical ruling that effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide. But that’s not all (come on guys, it’s Georgia politics, did you really think that was gonna be it?). The bill would also make it legal for any individual or organization to deny service and employment to anyone “whose religious beliefs or practices or lack of either are not in accord with the faith-based organization’s sincerely held religious belief.” In other words if the bill becomes law and you are gay, muslim, or belong to any other group deemed undesirable in the eyes of Georgia’s overwhelming religious majority (Protestants and Catholics make up nearly 85% of the population in the state), you might want to start thinking about the possibility of moving.

The passage of this bill is nothing more than a disgraceful challenge to progress and to a society that has worked very hard to overcome its prejudice in recent years. A lot of us were confident that the Supreme Court decision on Obergefell v. Hodges would put an end to centuries of mistreatment and discrimination against gay Americans, but boy we were wrong.

What must the rest of the world be thinking? I’m sure countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Morocco and Somalia have already phoned the leaders of Georgia’s legislature to congratulate them on their bold move to curtail the rights of the people of Georgia, and if you stand in support of one of these countries for their ongoing attempts to ensure human rights completely vanish from the face of the earth, then I guess it’s been a pretty good week for you. On the other hand, I doubt countries like Denmark, Spain, France, Norway, Sweden, or the Netherlands will be very pleased to hear the news coming out of the Peach State. But then again, when was the last time the United States went to Europe looking for answers?

For all of its economic and technological progress, this country always finds a way to bring shame upon itself in the human rights arena. From the outrageous number of minority populations incarcerated to the increasingly common cases of police brutality against African-Americans, the United States continues to baffle its allies in the west when it comes to social issues. But why? What is it about this country that makes it so easy for bigots and racists to infiltrate the system? I’ve met people from all corners of this country and I know that the vast majority of them are kind, open-minded individuals who would never accept laws such as the one being proposed by Georgia’s legislature. Sure, there are plenty of religious folks in this country who aren’t ready to accept same-sex marriage, and although I could never support their position on this issue, I kinda understand that they simply don’t see gay marriage as being compatible with their religious believes. But refusing to serve someone at a restaurant or a grocery store just because they happen to be gay? Are they for real?

I think the answer to this nonsense can be found in a corrupt system that yields too much power to special interests and lobbyists. I sincerely believe that if the future of public officials in America relied solely on the people and not on interest groups knocking on doors, laws like these would become far less common. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that kind of country.

Gov. Deal said he would make a decision on the controversial bill within 30 days, but he’s already beginning to feel the pressure of the pro-gay rights movement on his shoulders.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal

Disney, 21st Century Fox and other prominent names from the film-making industry have already threatened to leave the state and move their productions elsewhere if the governor chooses to sign the anti-gay bill into law. But these are not the only big names speaking out and urging the governor to exercise his veto powers. Coca-Cola has also added its name to a pledge against the discriminatory bill.

Whatever Gov. Deal decides to do, Georgia will have already added a new stain to the South’s dreadful civil rights record. Now all we can do is fight and hope that intolerant, hate-filled bills such as the one passed by Georgia’s state legislature don’t find their way into the political system in the future.

25 thoughts on “A Vulgar Challenge to Progress

  1. TV and movie production brings dollars and exposure to the state and The Walking Dead has said they would evaluate their relationship with the state if Deal signs the bill into law.

    The Super Bowl in Atlanta’s new stadium would also be lost if he signs.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a disgrace, this is disgusting, who gave him so much power over basic human rights? His politics is selfish and not for people at all, but to cushion his own fears about people who are different form him. Really interesting article, thank you for posting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading! It IS disgusting. I couldn’t believe they would dare to go so far to challenge the federal government on this. I’m happy this is getting a lot of attention though, specially thanks to the pressure coming from Hollywood. The governor might find himself in a position where he’s forced to veto this awful bill.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Because the federal government cannot tell people what to believe, if a church doesn’t want to perform a wedding, it shouldn’t have to do so. And speaking frankly, why would one want to be married at a venue they know doesn’t support them or their values?

    That said, religious liberty extends to only that: religion. It does not extend into business.

    Too often the liberal left thinks that unless one is 100% devoted to their particular cause, that one is the enemy.

    Too often the religious right has failed to show the love of the Christ they claim to follow.

    Intolerance and hate run both ways.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading and for your interesting input. I agree with you that one maybe shouldn’t be too outraged if a particular religious venue doesn’t want to hold a wedding that contradicts their values, but only as long as gay marriage is guaranteed in other places like city hall. Having said that, I continue to believe that Catholic gay couples who wish to get married in a church should be allowed to do so. Nevertheless, my focus here is not on gay marriage per se but rather on a person’s fundamental right to be employed or served at, say, a restaurant. Denying such basic rights to someone because of their sexual orientation is simply a truly terrible thing.


      1. I agree with equality of service in the public sphere, but since you argued “this bill will allow churches and other faith-based organizations to refuse to perform same-sex weddings” I felt compelled to argue on their behalf.

        Thanks for opening a civilized dialogue 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And I was happy to see you weigh in. Thank you for contributing to the conversation with sound arguments. 🙂


      1. I just love seeing big corporations getting involved. If they won’t listen to the people, they’ll sure as hell have to listen to the money. After all, they are Republicans

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Unity is the key, if Government wants to take some absurd decision then people just have to stay together and deny it’s acceptance. But of course these big giants getting involved is a pretty good thing..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am surprised to hear that Georgia’s state passed such bill. Whatever gender expression people hold, all human beings should be born with equal and inalienable rights as stated in UN Declaration. It is hard to believe, when US long emphasizes on individual freedom and human rights as universal values, one of its states is implementing such unjust law that denied equal rights to LGBT couples who loved and would like to marry to each other.

    Liked by 2 people

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