LGBTQ denied human rights

It seems America is returning to the 1950s.
Laws in states such as Indiana and Oklahoma are specifically targeting the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer) community are beginning to resemble the laws against people of color from decades ago.

In Indiana, Senate Bill (S.B.) 101 amends the Religious Freedom Restoration Act now specifically attacks members belonging to the LGBTQ by making it legal for businesses to deny employment or business to anyone they suspect could be part of this group. People in favor of this bill hold ideals that LGBTQ people are going into their businesses and interacting with them, which should not be mandatory as their existence goes against their religious beliefs.

In Oklahoma, House Bill (H.B.) 1125 revokes all marriage licenses to non-clergy members, making courthouse and other non-religious marriages void. The people behind this law claim it will take the government out of marriage and stop judges from being forced to perform same-sex marriages if it goes against their personal beliefs.

While supporters of these two bills will say their intentions are purely to protect the religious freedoms of those who do not support LGBTQ, this is all a fa├žade. By passing this law, America is taking down and further oppressing the people who belong to this community. It is not fair to try to protect the religious rights of those who belong to the majority if it means hindering the human rights of those in the minority.

S.B. 101 is not restoring religious freedom, but legalizing sexual and romantic discrimination. In no way does interacting with an LGBTQ person go against religious beliefs; talking to a person of this community is not supporting them, but it is showing basic human decency. This law was created in an attempt to protect the heteronormative people who cannot bring themselves to believe that communicating with people in a civil manner, despite sexual orientation, is a basic rule of society. These are people who cannot even communicate with a talented employee or possible customer simply because they suspect that person may not be heterosexual. This law attacks people who have done nothing but openly express their sexuality.

H.B. 1125 was created to protect judges who do not support same-sex marriage from performing this task; however, it makes no sense. A judge is not allowed to take personal beliefs, such as religion, into the courtroom. A judge cannot rule that a person is guilty simply because they are a member of the LGBTQ community, so why should a judge be able to tell a couple they cannot get married because they are the same gender? Additionally, the bill ruins any opportunity for same-sex couples to get married period. In addition, this is unfairly pushing religion on those who do not want to be involved. By forcing marriages to only be considered legal if they are performed by a clergy member, proponents of the bill are forcing those who do not belong to a religion and those belonging to the LGBTQ community to choose between not getting married and faking having religious beliefs. The entire premise that marriage is a religious matter is completely flawed. Looking back on history, marriage is believed to have started somewhere near 2000 B.C., while it didn’t become part of a religion until the Catholic Church adopted it in 1563. This leaves a gap of almost 3000 years where religion had nothing to do with marriage.

Both of these laws are in the running to be passed at a national level, and while most believe it is going to fail nationwide, many states are still going to take these bills to the house.

These laws mean taking away basic rights and human elements, such as equal respect, from people who have done nothing wrong. These bills are advocating unfair treatment of U.S. citizens on the grounds that they need to allow everyone freedom of expression. In actuality, these laws are pushing people back into the metaphorical closet and forcing them to revoke their own rights to self-expression and equal treatment in hopes they may get treated like any human should.

These new laws are proof that America is not moving forward, but going backwards. Repeating the oppression, prejudice and ignorance seen in the 1950s is concerning on multiple levels, but it is evidence Americans must continue to speak up and fight to support those belonging to the LGBTQ community.