Thursday, 16 April 2015
When Divided, We are Conquered
But what happens when each of our own individualized ideas of what “better” is, is drastically different? Is better to you, more beautiful, more sustainable, more respectful, or perhaps more holy?
That’s the question at hand when it comes to such laws as Indiana’s
What differentiates this law from a similar federal law, The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, as well as several other state laws, are a few key points:
• Indiana’s Law Applies to Companies; Others Do Not
• In Some Other States, Non-discrimination Laws Trump ‘Religious Freedom’ Laws
• The Political Context is Different, and so are the Policy Aims.
• The Indiana Law Applies to Private Disputes
You can find a great breakdown of these points from ABCnews.com.
Thrust into the spotlight was a small Indiana pizzeria, who when pressed, claimed they would decline a client if they were asked to cater a same-sex wedding reception citing their Christian beliefs. I will make note that they did mention, that they would serve all customers regardless of orientation, but that they drew their professional line at catering same-sex wedding receptions….with pizzas.
After wide spread media coverage, the pizzeria closed its doors to bide it’s time while the media frenzy passed.
Now I’m not one to support the demise of anyone or their business, but I must be honest that I had a moment of “Yay! The “good guy” won!”. It restored a bit of my faith in humanity, that can so easily get chipped away when you hear that there are still people in North America, who think the best option is promote segregation.
However, that’s when the reality of North America’s current state of inclusion started to set in. Within weeks upon closing, a crowdfunding campaign was launched to help support the establishment’s owners, during their “time of need”. Quickly, the campaign raised over $800,000.
With the money, the pizzeria has been reopened, and the owners have indicated their plans to donate portions of the raised funds to various charities of their choosing. As you can assume, the donated money came from SB101 supporters; those who feel they have the right to not be held liable should they opt to deny service to someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Let me just summarize: over $800,000, was crowdfunded in support of legal segregation.
The backlash from Indiana’s SB 101 was immediately felt by the entire state, when such organizations as SalesForce, Angie’s List, a multitude of municipalities, and a growing list of other organizations, opted to cease all interactions with the state, should they continue with SB 101 on the books. While Gov. Mike Pence, consistently claimed the bill was about bringing communities together, Indiana Republicans announced an agreement that will alter Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Reformation Act to ensure that it does not discriminate against LGBT people. The proposed change grants new protections for LGBT customers, employees and tenants.
My betterment is creating a space where all views have the opportunity to be presented, where taking pride in your belief system and living your personal life accordingly is acceptable. My version of betterment, however, does not include creating tools with a direct aim at dividing us. We should have realized a long time ago that we are all in this together. Anytime we stray from that thinking as a global community, we are only making things better on an emotionally local level. And that is how and why people often confuse diversity for division.....