RFRA Madness: Marriage support may suffer, but that’s a good thing

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One of the most startling memes I’ve seen in the wake of the Indiana RFRA debate is the swift retreat by many conservatives from their previously stated support for same-sex marriage equality. Many analysts expect this kind of pushback when an issue becomes as heated as this one has. The pendulum swings back and forth, they say, and perhaps RFRA was the top of the equal rights swing and now the descent begins. Maybe, maybe not. But the pushback we’ve seen here is incredibly instructive, and ultimately worth the price for an honest public debate.

I couldn’t scroll my Twitter timeline at any point on Wednesday without someone saying they were now rethinking or abandoning their support for gay marriage after Indiana. They had reluctantly agreed that marriage would be ok, but to have their businesses hired to (not at all) participate in them? Fascism! Totalitarianism!

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RFRA Madness: The religious liberty smokescreen


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Lately it seems I can’t say I’ve accomplished anything unless I’ve been called a statist, a progressive, an anti-Christian bigot, and a fascist prick, preferably all in the same day. But such is life when you dare to suggest that in 2015 we should stop trying to find excuses to eliminate our interaction with certain types of people.

And that’s exactly what Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act was designed to do. Yes, it will also help a few minority religions perform observe their rituals and practices without interference. But it wasn’t written and passed the year after the cascade of marriage equality rulings, laws, and referenda in order to protect those few cases. No, its purpose is instead to protect the overwhelming majority (Christians) from having to interact with another minority – gays and lesbians.

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