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Religous freedom act is legalizing discrimination

Last week, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the “addressing religious freedom” bill, into law that has civil rights groups up in arms. Many are asserting that the law puts forth the option to refuse service to members of the LGBT community based on religious grounds and is an act of discrimination.

When I heard about the bill passing into law, I was immediately shocked and disturbed. In a time where many are striving for equality, I feel that this law challenges the progress that civil right groups have worked so hard to put into effect. This law, which is not only exclusive to Indiana, does not promote progress in our nation’s history but rather seems to encourage discrimination based on how one wants to view another individual’s way of life.

The more I thought about it, the more I wondered how much more backward we as a nation are willing to move. In my opinion, I think everyone should respect each other regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, etc., and I feel that this bill displaces anyone in the LGBT community. Acceptance and tolerance are lacking. While I respect the religious views of those who follow their faith very closely, I feel that those in support of this law would feel very differently if they were being targeted because of their religious value. I do not wish to generalize those who hold religious faith because many in Indiana have spoken that their religious beliefs do not or will not affect how they treat individuals based on their sexuality.

Gov. Pence has denied that this law promotes discrimination and is quoted saying, “This bill is not about discrimination and if I thought it was about discrimination I would have vetoed it” on CNN’s website in an article discussing the controversial law. Like many others, I believe this law provides a free pass to discriminate against members of the LGBT community and I am appalled that Pence refuses to eliminate the bill.

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Per usual, social media exploded concerning the law passing.

Many have taken up the hashtag #BoycottIndiana to express their views that oppression of any sort is not going to be tolerated. George Takei, social media icon and famed actor from “Star Trek,” tweeted “Join me to #BoycottIndiana. Show Gov. #Pence we won’t stand for bigotry in the name of religion” and many have followed in the outcry against Indiana. I for one am not at all in support of discrimination and hope that regardless of Pence’s previous statement that the bill “won’t change,” something can be done to reverse Indiana’s law and the same law that is passed in 21 other states.

This is why our votes matter, people. We as voters (to some degree) hold the power to put people in and take people out of office. If we want progress in history we need to decrease the support of those who believe in legalizing hate and discrimination and bring people into office who will move this nation forward for equality and a better life for all.

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