New Bill Hopes To Keep Gays Out Of Hotels And Restaurants, Where They Are The Most Deadly
It must be hard to be a homophobe, living your life constantly terrified that someone close by might be gay and therefore trying to recruit your hot ass. If you’re a homophobe in Virginia, however, a new bill would allow you to both eat your Hardee’s and rent your hotel porn in peace, without worrying about the sexual orientation of the other people in the building. Republican Delegate Bob Marshall has proposed a bill that harkens back to simpler times, when people hid their gayness and white people had their own drinking fountains. HB1414 has what’s called a “conscience clause,” which is a nice way of saying, “free ride for bigots.” The bill asks that:
A person seeking to obtain or renew a license, registration, or certificate from the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, or any agency, authority, board, department, or other entity thereof, shall not be required to perform, assist, consent to, or participate in any action or refrain from performing, assisting, consenting to, or participating in any action as a condition of obtaining or renewing the license, registration, or certificate where such condition would violate the religious or moral convictions of such person with respect to same-sex “marriage” or homosexual behavior.
Here’s what this means in human language, as broken down by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern:
…Marshall’s measure would attach a “conscience clause” to any “license, registration, or certificate” obtained from the commonwealth, whether by a private business or a government agency…
Because the bill applies to both private and public enterprises, and because these enterprises almost always need some kind of “license, registration, or certificate” from the government, its reach is essentially endless. University professors could refuse to teach gay students; doctors in state-run hospitals could refuse to treat gay patients. Hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and bars could simply put up a sign reading “No gays allowed.” Police officers and ambulance drivers could refuse to aid not just gay couples, but also gay individuals. County clerks and DMVs could turn away gays at the door. Public school teachers could kick out gay students. Daycares could refuse to look after the children of gay couples.
So now homophobia is an expression of religious freedom? And if you perform a service to the public, such as taking someone having a heart attack to the hospital or selling them a ticket to see The Hobbit, you can just not do that if they seem a little gay to you?
Now, Marshall has proven himself to be a crazy person in the past (he called for the impeachment of judges who overturn gay marriage bans), and this bill is clearly the kind of thing that is meant to make a statement and not something that has any chance of actually passing. But the fact that this bill exists shows us how far some people are willing to go to protect themselves from a group of people they fear (because this isn’t about morality or hatred, it’s about fear). However, it’s this kind of political dick measuring, this, “I hate gay people more than you” kind of legislative bullying that also proves that we don’t need to take these people seriously. Because if you feel that you are compromising your morals by giving a gay man a driver’s license, then there is no hope for you.
(Photo: Lisa F. Young / Shutterstock)