Late Thursday afternoon Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, sent an email to supporters. Its title is “Tell Mike Pence: Don’t Gut Religious Liberty!” One of severaal paragraphs:
Please call Governor Pence now and ask him to stop this from spreading further. Urge him to protect people like florist Barronelle Stutzman, bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, and wedding photographer Elaine Huguenin by vetoing this “fix.”
In other words Mr. Perkins supports discrimination against gay people in public accommodations. All you have to do, in Perkins’ world, is to say that you have a sincerely held religious belief and voilà — you are exempt from compliance with non-discrimination laws.
At the risk of being repetitive gay people help to pay for the roads that bring customers to the door. Gay people help to pay for the fire and police departments that keep the enterprise safe. Gay people help to pay for the infrastructure that is essential for the business to even exist. Is it really too much to ask for gay people to be serviced like anyone else?
Those people that Mr. Perkins cites have all decided to flout applicable anti-discrimination laws. If they are so self-absorbed that they consider arranging flowers to be that important; if they are so self-righteous then they have no business operating a business that deals with the public. But I’ll bet that none of these bigots (yes, they are bigots) would bat an eyelash to service a couple with a combined four divorces under their belts. But the gay, well, that’s different. These people are the very reason that we need such ordinances and, sadly, Indiana does not consider its LGBT citizens and taxpayers to be a protected class (how crass). That is yet another battle for the future.