By Alberto Pupo
So today is Easter, and as they sit in prayer faithful Christians in Indiana and Arkansas are happily pondering upon the new Hate filled legislation that has just been passed but a mere week ago. The states of Indiana and Arkansas has passed legislation that allows private businesses to discriminate and refuse to provide goods and services to LGBT individuals. Naturally rather than being depicted as the hate filled garbage legislation that it is, to the rest of America it is being presented as a victory in the name of “religious freedom” and “ The 1st Amendment”. Yet is this piece of legislation truly about religious freedom? Is this really a matter involving in preserving the 1st Amendment Rights for those of Christian faith? Or is this simply illegal, abhorrent actions that do nothing more than infringe on a group of Americans.
Religious Freedom, our Constitution grants Americans to practice their faith (or lack of it), without any state sponsored religion. This is what our Constitution defines as religious freedom. However the right-wing of this Nation has perverted the interpretation and taken it to mean that they have the right to infringe upon the rights of others in the name of religion. Legislating practices of a certain religion as the cornerstone of law in a secular society runs counter to what the1st Amendment grants. Crafting legislation based on perverse practices of a particular religious denomination (ie pure hatred) is actually the true violation and chilling of the rights of others. Legislation based on hate is simply Unconstitutional.
But what about freedom of speech? What about the right to hate anyone and anything? Yes this has been a long time battle cry of Hate Groups and Religions around America. However the right to speak freely does not allow for having state sponsored Hate legislation. A government, whether, local, state, or government, is there to served a plurality of interests. Engaging in the creation of hate legislation via using the power of government institutions is something that is highly illegal and unconstitutional. This is not freedom of speech, nor is this religious freedom. This is nothing more than the illegal legislation based on the narrow interest of a subculture.
The laws in Indiana and Arkansas are not Constitutional. They are merely infringing upon the 1st Amendment Rights of the LGBT community. These laws need to be invalidated by the Supreme Court and overturned. Furthermore the Federal Government needs to provide safeguards and remedies so that other parties cannot use the power of government to deny basic Constitutional Rights to individuals.