What does Indiana, Arkansas and Georgia legislation have to do with family law? It’s where we are and unfortunately, where we’ve been and, yes, we’ve seen it all before.
I’m sure you know about Indiana’s just passed discrimination law and Arkansas, not to be outdone in the clown department ,just passed one of its own. You almost certainly know that Georgia had its version floating about in the General Assembly this year which passed the Senate before it died this week, just days before Sine Die. Expect to see it resurrected next year.
Indiana’s Governor, Mike Pence has done his best to walk back the discriminatory intent and practice of Indiana’s bill, but what the bill is about, why it was proposed and passed and what it is intended to do are unmistakable. The law wants to give individuals and businesses the right to discriminate against anyone to whom they assert a religious objection.
The proponents claim it is to keep right wing homophobe photographers from being forced to take pictures at gay weddings. (Just imagine how that photographer gets in that predicament in the first place. I’ll hold off for awhile while you laugh.) But the law is drafted to include all individuals and businesses. Lunch counters can refuse to serve gays and lesbians. “We don’t serve your kind around here.” Greyhound could require them to ride at the back of the bus. Separate water fountains could be installed so that heteros didn’t have to drink with homos.
And yes, we’ve seen all this before. I’m old enough to have lived through it. And while you think that the issue might be restricted to gays and lesbians, again, the law doesn’t just target gays and lesbians. Anyone that someone has a “religious” problem with, can be denied service.
Religion was an oft-used rationale for denying services to black Americans not that many decades ago. These laws allow all that all over again. And if you think that the ogres in white hoods who burn crosses on lawns are not salivating from the wings, you don’t understand the mindset of that extreme 20% or so of Americans who feel that science is merely opinion and that fact is whatever you want it to be.
So how does this effect family law? One of the core religious arguments was against interracial marriage. It seems that God was 110% opposed to black folk and white folk marrying each other.
In some states, the lunatic 20% is arguing that it is not fair to have forced weekends. Seven day a week workweeks should be a business’ perogative without having to deal with nasty things like overtime.
In some states, the lunatic 20% is arguing that it is not fair to poor families to force 10 year old children to go to school and to keep them out of the workplace where their labors could help their poor families.
And in Indiana, Arkansas and Georgia, the lunatic 20% is arguing that you should be able to deny services to a man because of his sexual orientation or the color of his skin.
Hello, Mr. Jim Crow.
In Georgia, not this year. In Georgia, not ever!