Philip Bump at the Washington Post (original post, below) may have been a little premature.
The state of Arkansas now comes along and also decides that gays and lesbians need to “win” their rights.
Despite intensifying criticism from business leaders both within and outside of Arkansas, the state legislature on Tuesday passed its version of a measure billed as a religious freedom law, joining Indiana in a swirl of controversy that shows little sign of calming.
The bill, passed when the General Assembly concurred on three amendments from the State Senate, now goes to the state’s Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, who expressed reservations about an earlier bill but more recently said he would sign the measure if it “reaches my desk in similar form as to what has been passed in 20 other states.” The Arkansas Senate passed the measure last week.
While there were several attempts up until the last minute to add a clause to the bill that would explicitly bar discrimination of gays and lesbians, a measure that Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana pledged to add in a news conference on Tuesday, the sponsors of the bill in the General Assembly rejected such moves.
The Washington Post today published a piece generally positive about LGBT rights in light of the recent discriminatory actions by the Indiana state legislature.
In part, Philip Bump writes:
In a press conference Tuesday morning, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) announced that he was asking his state’s legislature to amend a bill it passed last week to make explicit that discrimination against same-sex couples by businesses is not acceptable. That had emerged as the key point of contention following the passage of so-called “religious freedom” legislation, with liberal and gay groups arguing that the law would allow precisely that type of discrimination (thanks in part to Indiana’s lack of protections elsewhere). Putting a fine point on it, Pence embraced inclusivity, saying, “I don’t think anyone should ever be mistreated because of who they are or who they love.”
Interestingly, the title of this positive piece — “The political war over gay culture is over, and the gays won” — is indicative, at least to me, of how so many Americans have been brainwashed by the homophobes.
In my opinion, a human being does not “win” rights that have been denied him or her because of one’s God-given sexual orientation, makeup and personality.
Because they are God-given, no religion, no Constitution, no legislature, no law, no group of bigots can take those away.
No, no group of people wins their God-given rights.
At best, it can be said that a bunch of bigots, misogynists and other malefactors have periodically failed in their loathsome attempts to deny blacks and other minorities, women, gays and lesbians and others their God-given rights — rights which our Founding Fathers thought it would be a good idea to commit to a piece of parchment lest they be forgotten by the Indiana legislature and others. That document, “The Declaration of Independence,” says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Today, almost 240 year later, these “unalienable rights” are finally beginning to be restored. Not granted, for no person or government can grant what has already been granted by Him. Not “won,” for no one should have to “win” what is already his or hers.
In his Washington Post piece, Philip Bump writes, “That the bill passed with the loophole that Pence both denies and wants to close suggests that the culture war over homosexuality is still brewing. But the response should make clear that it’s gasping for air.”
Bump adds: “But the battle in Indiana is over. And barring some dramatic shift, so is the war over the status of gay relationships in the United States…”
It is a battle still being fought, but not to be “won.” It is a battle that should have never been started.
Lead image: www.shutterstock.com
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.