Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Land Was Made For You and Me and LGBT

Although we haven't strictly heard yet whether AZ Gov. Jan Brewer will veto the disturbingly easily passed anti-gay discrimination (or was that made-up religious freedom?) bill, I have a feeling she will veto it, especially since US Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake  have suggested she should, as well as business leaders and even some of the people who had voted for it, most GOP voters, and former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. 

This gives me great reason to believe this is a very dead bill, and should be decently buried. A similar bill was rejected recently in Indiana, and I think the Georgia bill will be, too. 

I have to suppose here that the anti-gay forces, reeling from losses regarding gay marriage, put up this last-minute overreach entirely expecting there would be more anti-gay sentiment in this country than there actually is. But you know what? I don't even think people who aren't altogether okay with the "gay lifestyle" or the "gay agenda" are really eager to bring back Jim Crow and "separate but obviously not even a little equal".

The idea that it is some vendor's business to know what anyone does with their life and give a shit about it and that makes it okay for them to reject their money feels weird, okay? If one is a baker, one should mostly be concerned that their customer has money and likes cake. Whether their customer is also gay, bisexual, etc--is just personal and besides the whole "Here's money, where's cake?" transactionalism of our capitalistic society. Rejecting their money and failing to provide cake will not turn anyone straight. There is no "Straight for cake" movement of which I am aware. The premise is entirely wrong. For what it's worth, an anti-gay cake seller has probably served any number of gay folks without even knowing it, more heteronormative-conforming folks just flying under the gaydar at the cash register as it were. They are only punishing people for letting them know they are gay. Should there really be a kind of "Don't ask, don't tell" at the bakery?

Now myself? If I was turned away from an establishment for some failure of gender performance, I probably would not resort to the courts (although if any of these laws pass in any state, I hope the first enforcement is set upon in a hot minute and goes to the Supremes, because it surely is not Constitutional). I have blogs, I have Facebook, and I have Twitter. I'd like to think my cake-denying (or whatever) adversary would experience death by a thousand "Yelps". In a sense, I would want to believe that market forces would be brought to bear on bigotry, and it would just FOAD.

But knowing I might not live in that world, and that my gay, lesbian and trans* brothers and sisters live in a world where the services and goods denied can be more serious than cake (as in life and death, as in police protection and health care access) I need to know we understand that equality in this country means just that. And that this land is mine, yours, ours, the same. And our access to it should be the same. We used to turn people away from lunch counters based on skin color and arrange bus seating to privilege the melanin-deficient. It was a grave mistake--how can we justify on similar lines and lies, privileging straight people?

We can't. These bills must go down in flames, and so must the bigotry that made them plausible.

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