Ah the smell of bigotry. It’s amazing how truly distinctive the aroma, even when wafting thousands of miles across the country.
I’m speaking, of course, about the states of Indiana and Arkansas (the latter of which should ONLY be smelling of the fine barbecue for which it is also known) and their utterly reprehensible, entirely discriminatory laws allowing businesses to reject, turn away and otherwise deny patrons based on the business owner’s religious beliefs. The Governor of Indiana, Mike “Gee I had no idea that allowing bigotry would upset people” Pence has allowed a disgraceful mark on his state’s record … a mark that it would appear many in that state find horrid. Today’s front page of the Indianapolis Star states it pretty clearly. I also know quite a few folks from that state who categorically disagree with the law.
So how the hell did this happen? If people disagree? If the media finds it horrible? Then where is the disconnect.
Simple. It’s the same monster that fueled the passage of Proposition 8 in California back in 2008. Complacence.
The time was October 2008. The country was swirling with the Presidential election and the great message of hope from then candidate Barak Obama. By the time most of us in California pulled our heads out of our collective posteriors the damage was done. Proposition 8 had passed. How on earth in the big blue state of California, the alleged bastion of liberal leaning acceptance could that transpire? Easy. That great big blue state in truth is deeply purple – thanks to the blend of deep, blood red conservatism that saturates the entire mid-Valley “Inland Empire” swath. Bigotry and racism are alive and well in that part of the state, and they did their damage.
Some might argue that the passage of Prop 8 was, in hindsight, a good thing as it galvanized an entirely new generation of LGBT activist, myself included, forcing us to step up, rip off the closet doors, step our and raise our voices loud and proud. After all, if you don’t speak up your silence is as condemning as those who speak ill. At least that’s my opinion.
In any case, we cannot sit idly by and allow the voices of bigotry and hatred to win. We must speak out.