Every nation on Earth is plagued with inconvenient, and uncomfortable, ‘secrets’ that are widely known by the population, but are hardly ever discussed. America is no different and one of its dirty little secrets is that although the U.S. Constitution was created to guarantee that all citizens are treated equally, a growing number of Republican states are actively seeking protection to discriminate based on religion. It is true that there is an epic religious war to deny women their rights, but that is the subject of another article.
On Friday the Supreme Court announced it will again hear a multitude of Republican states attempt to convince the Court that according the United States Constitution, they have the legal right to unilaterally abolish the 14th Amendment for the sole purpose of denying gay Americans their Civil Rights. None of the Republican states have the courage to cite their basis for abridging gay Americans’ “equal protections under the law,” but the dirty little secret is their source of empowerment is clearly what they claim to be the “supreme law of the land;” the Christian bible. The other dirty little secret is that politicians, judges, and same-sex advocates are terrified of citing the real source of the drive to deny gays their right to equal protection under the law; religion.
First, in Mississippi, the most religious state in the Union, the mayor of Starkville, Parker Wiseman, met behind closed doors with religious Republicans and decided he had the executive authority to veto a recent Board of Alderman’s decision to rescind a resolution that stated the city is intolerant of discrimination against anyone and in any form. Just last year, Starkville was the first city in Mississippi to adopt a resolution against any form of discrimination; including people in the LGBT community. Three or four other cities followed Starkville’s lead and passed laws revealing they embrace the U.S. Constitution. Besides vetoing the anti-discrimination resolution, religious Republicans also deleted wording in the city’s insurance policy allowing the inclusion of domestic partnerships. There is a reason Mississippi is renowned as the nation’s most religious state.
In Idaho, the governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter appealed to the High Court to ban same-sex marriage in the state since a federal appeals court affirmed it was patently unconstitutional to deny gays equal protections under the law. Otter claims the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to gays because “the children.” In his petition to the High Court, Otter asserts that his “view of marriage is primarily child-centered. The principal purpose of marriage is to unite a child to his or her biological mother and father whenever possible, and when not possible, to a mother and father. The time has come for this court to resolve a question of critical importance to their citizens and their children.”
Otter is too much of a coward to cite his biblical objection to gays and concealed the dirty little religious secret by claiming his objection is that children benefit from being raised by a heterosexual couple. However, according to the American Sociological Association, the so-called religious studies supporting Otter’s claim are “fatally flawed” and found to be “bullshit” by real academics. In fact, several legitimate scientific studies reveal that children born to same-sex parents fare equally well and often better than their counterparts.
A 2007 study from Tufts University found that children born to same-sex couples did equally well, and in 2010, comprehensive research from Stanford University found that “children of same-sex couples are more likely to make normal progress through school as the children of most other family structures.” And in the latest study by the University of Melbourne (Australia), researchers found that children raised by same-sex parents were actually “healthier and happier” than children in the general population.
In South Dakota, a religious teabagger emboldened by the midterm elections is pushing the idea that since “less than 3% of the population self-identifies as homosexual, they are not eligible to the same constitutional rights as others.” The teabagger, Bob Ellis, was livid that a federal court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage and asserted that gay people “simply aren’t suited for marriage.” According to Ellis, “If these homosexuals want to enjoy the benefits of marriage and all the legal protections that come with it, they need to find a suitable marriage partner of the opposite sex and marry them. These activists have deliberately chosen NOT to do that.”
The religious coward failed to admit the dirty little secret that the real reason South Dakota banned same-sex marriage is borne of religion. In fact, Ellis claimed that “Contrary to the assertions of homosexual activists and activist judges, there are a multitude of scientific reasons to oppose acceptance of this behavior. They include: homosexual behavior is contrary to science. Homosexual behavior is contrary to nature. Homosexual behavior is aberrant (less than 3% of the population self-identifies as homosexual) and, homosexual behavior carries numerous and extreme risks.” Ellis failed to produce even one iota of research in the “multitude of scientific reasons” to oppose same-sex marriage because he is smart enough to avoid citing the bible as science. He is also smart enough to stop short of saying out loud that same-sex marriage should be banned because “god hates gays.”
According to one Republican in California, “it is state governors that are unfortunately allowing homosexual marriages. It is not good enough for governors to merely appeal to a higher court for unconstitutional opinions of bad judges.” The religious bigot had a better ‘constitutional’ solution that entails all governors “announcing that no homosexual marriage licenses will be issues, and no county clerk is permitted to issue marriage licenses to anyone other than a qualified man and woman.” To enforce the religious edict, the religious teabagger demanded that “each state governor use the state’s National Guard to enforce the same-sex marriage ban at county clerk’s offices.
Since Republicans gained ground in the midterm elections, many red states are boasting new “harsh religious liberty” legislation. Most of the ‘license to legally discriminate laws” are modeled after a rash of “bigotry legislation” that failed to reach fruition last year. However, in Indiana, evangelical Republicans have already drafted a particularly nasty “license to discriminate” bill founded on the Christian bible. This time, Republicans are not even concealing the purpose of the legislation they readily admit is giving religious bigots legal right “to refuse services to same-sex couples and ban adoption agencies from placing children with same-sex couples;” all under the guise of “defending freedom and protecting religious liberty.”
The Indiana bill uses language from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that was designed to prohibit the government from subverting the religious beliefs of citizens. Indiana’s bill allows the righteous to use religion to subvert the rights of other Americans. Since the bill is a state law, it supersedes any decent community’s nondiscrimination laws that protect LGBT people.
Ever since California’s same-sex marriage ban in 2008, there has been precious little, and likely no, politician, LGBT activist, or judge willing to acknowledge that all of the opposition to the gay community or same-sex marriage is founded in religion; primarily the Christian bible. That dirty little secret exposes the outright fear in this burgeoning theocracy of challenging the proponents of creating a religious state to mirror Iran, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, or the growing Islamic State.
It is true that any kind of ban on the gay rights is a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, but few Americans even know the amendment exists, much less what it guarantees all citizens. However, most Americans understand the real and present danger of legislating and governing according to an archaic religious text. It is damn high time that politicians, LGBT activists, and judges start screaming that Republicans’ are attempting to abolish the Constitution because of the bible. Maybe then the anti-gay bigot class will climb back into their dirty little holes and stop persecuting American citizens; or as they call it “defending freedom and religious liberty.”
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.