THE 14TH

So there has been a lot of outrage over the last week or so about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law in the state of Indiana. A lot of uproar over a non-issue, but I’ll cover that later. My first question is: What happened to the 14th amendment? I thought this gave us all equal rights under the law. It does.

Amendment XIV

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

That pretty-well sums it up, folks. Particularly the last sentence. “nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

There are a lot of great legal minds out there, none of which, apparently, are invited on cable news shows. It seems to me that even an average legal mind could simply rebut anyone who hinted at the notion of discriminating based on sexual orientation by saying two words: “14th amendment.” End of debate. End of discussion. End of TV show.

Which is, I suppose, why they can’t do that. They can’t invite someone on the show that would take such a direct and logical route to the end of an argument. There wouldn’t be an argument and their wouldn’t be a show, and lord knows we need these shows (sarcasm intended).

You’d have one side of the split screen screaming about how this law doesn’t discriminate and the other side of the split screen saying “great, but it doesn’t really matter. We have the 14 amendment. So this law, if it was intended to discriminate based on sexual orientation it wouldn’t hold up at the supreme court level”….and the host would be baffled. He would have 57 minutes of dead air-time to fill because there is no rebut for that statement.

My point is: Even if the state of Indiana wanted to discriminate against a gay man or woman they couldn’t. Not legally (that pesky 14th amendment again). Now can a business owner refuse service to anyone? Of course they can. It’s their [private] business and they have the legal right to discriminate against anyone they want. It’s 2015…good luck with that strategy.

Just as a point of order: Curves (the popular womens only fitness club) discriminates against men, so does Flirty Girl Fitness. Planet Fitness discriminates against “meat heads”, and Augusta National Golf Club (where the Masters are played) still discriminates against Women. Where is the uproar? Where is the picket line outside of Flirty Girl Fitness? Im outraged! ……No I’m not, I go to a different gym. I get it. It’s girls only and I’m not an 8-year-old child who got locked out of the tree house.

But none of this is the point. The point is that if we wanted to end this debate we could. The 14th amendment allows us to do that; and the rest is just rhetoric. I know the news has to broadcast the “news”, but if anyone with 1/2-a-brain ever wanted to end this discussion they would. But they don’t. Neither do the LGBT activists, they need the debate to stay relevant. They need the “plite” to be real.*** They need the air-time.

And for the record. The hobby lobby ruling doesn’t discriminate against the LGBT community, women or anyone else. It upholds the constitutional rights of any US citizen (or privately held corporation) to freely express their religious beliefs. This isn’t an anarchy. Nobody is required to work anywhere they don’t want to work. And corporations aren’t required to hire anyone they don’t want to hire. It’s pretty simple, folks. (and last time I checked a “benefits” package wasn’t mandated; if you don’t like the package offered by your employer you’re free to leave and work somewhere else…this isn’t a safety issue, guys. It’s a benefits package)

For example: I don’t personally like the way a popular Chicago restaurant (which will remain nameless) treats their patrons; they are particularly crass and disrespectful. This is their schtick and it works for them. I think it’s absurd, but it works for them. As a result, I don’t work there nor do I eat there. I also don’t picket their store-fronts or declare outrage on my social media pages. I simply don’t work or eat there. If enough people feel the way I feel they will be out of business. If not, I have one less place to eat in Chicago. Either way, this is a free country and that’s how free markets work.

That said- If you don’t like the new law in Indiana, chances are you don’t know the actual law and you’re relying on the OPINION or interpretation of your favorite talking head. I suggest you do two things:

  1. Read the damn law. Or at least the summary of it. Not someone’s [biased] opinion on the law. And if you can’t bring yourself to read for 15 minutes today, flip the channel to the other side of the debate. Hear both sides of the argument at least.
  2. If you still don’t like the law (you have no earthly reason not to), don’t go to Indiana. Don’t cheer for the Hooser’s next time they are on TV and boycott watching games the Indianapolis Colts are playing in.

But for the love of god stop spewing fake-outrage (especially when it’s based on partial truths and fabrications) on your social media pages. It’s clogging up my timeline and I’m here to see pictures of my friends babies, not your frivolous, unfounded arguments.

*There is no doubt that the LGBT community is discriminated against. Racist bigots are out and they are ugly. No argument there. But legislation isn’t the place to fight that battle. We can’t legislate against what people think. Changing laws won’t change hearts and minds. The world is getting smaller and information, love, and exposure to people that are different than themselves is what will change hearts and minds. The fight isn’t a legal one. Its a social one and in case you haven’t been paying attention…we’re making progress.

End of rant.

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