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As a Hoosier, I have never seen America take such a sudden interest in Indiana. Why the sudden interest? Well it all started on March 26, when Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed SB 101 (RFRA or Religious Freedom Restoration Act). After the signing of this bill there was a very negative reaction that I believe was caused by people being very misinformed.
One of the main concerns people had towards the RFRA was that it would discriminate against the LGBT community. Also adding to the fire was the fact that Indiana had no statewide anti-LGBT Discrimination law that made discriminating against LGBT’s illegal.
In my personal opinion I thought the law was perfectly fine before it was changed and this is coming from an individual who supports the legalization of same sex marriage and LGBT rights. The law clearly stated that the only reason why you could refuse a service was if that particular service burdened someone’s religious belief.
An example of a service that could burden someone’s religious belief is participation in a same sex marriage ceremony. Let’s say a devout Christian owns a bakery. Someone asks him/her if they could bake a cake for their marriage between two men. It is an obvious Christian belief that marriage is between a man and woman. Since the baker is a Christian he feels that carrying out this service will burden his/her religious belief that marriage is between a man and woman, so he/she refuses.
Here is what would usually happen without an RFRA law in place. The couple would sue the bakery. Now the baker must hire a lawyer, which costs a ton of money. Now because there is no RFRA law in place the baker would lose the case and be fined a ton of money. Thus potentially putting his/her bakery out of business. Wouldn’t it have just been easier for the couple to go to another bakery than getting the court system involved?
As the person who is refused service you have a choice. Respect the religious beliefs of the baker and go to another bakery, or have the government interfere with that baker’s religious belief, which is technically not allowed according to the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Another standpoint on this has to do with private property. Your business is your own private property, not the Government’s property. You should be able to decide who you want to serve. By making the Government force you to serve people, doesn’t that kind of mean the Government can force you to let anyone into your home which, like your business, is your private property?
I think when you take a step back and look at the big picture you come to realize that the Government becomes way too involved in our daily lives. Government should not be telling us what is best for us and our families. I believe that our founding fathers would be appalled by how prominent the Government has become in decisions that we as a free society should be able to make for ourselves.
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