#BoycottIndiana has been trending on twitter for days, as headlines about a controversial “religious freedom” bill rally antisocial injustice cowards to action. SB101, aka the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – simply states that the Indiana government and the political subdivisions thereof, may not “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability”. Some fear it may “allow discrimination” against homosexuals, and transgendered persons.
I’ll stick to talking about gays for the purpose of this article, as I happen to know and care for a number of gay people. I have little sympathy on the other hand for people who think I have some obligation to refer to an obvious male as a female, or let men into a women’s restroom just because they opted to put on a dress that day.
If I went to lunch with one of my gay friends, and the restaurant owner somehow realized my friend was gay, and kicked him out for this, I would be outraged. Same if the owner put a sign out that said “No gays allowed” or something to that effect. On a personal level, I would not like this and I would no longer do business with that establishment.
There just doesn’t seem to be any compelling interest for a restaurant owner to do that. It doesn’t even seem like a good business decision. He’s doing nothing but turning away money, and it seems to me like the owner would only do that because he had some visceral gut hatred for homosexuals. A thing I find quite pointless and irrational, usually driven by some absurd religious affliction. As an atheist, I find this sort of irrationality detestable.
If some activists in the neighborhood got together and went to the city council to threaten government force for this discrimination, I would then be tasked with the unpleasant duty of defending the business owner’s property rights. I would be driven to do so by the same detest for irrationality that made me walk out of the restaurant in the first place. The restaurant owner believed that his deity forbid men from laying with men as he laid with women. The activists believed their “government” forbid man from having preferences and acting on them. It is fundamentally the same lunacy, but the activists are infinitely worse because they are threatening the business owner with violence.