|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
DM Barcas, I get what you're arguing -- that the actual legal effect of the law is determined by its language and that it is difficult to find where in the law it actually gives permission to discriminate.
On the other hand, I think it's become pretty clear from the way people have been championing these laws and laws like them that they are intended to appear as if they are protecting those who would like to discriminate against LGBT people. It may be that the lawmakers who are putting these laws to paper are writing laws that don't actually do that, but are giving their supporters the appearance of protection if they choose to discriminate.
After all, there's a reason why all these laws have been proposed in the last couple years. That reason is marriage equality and the success we've had in bringing it through legislation, judicial decisions, and via popular referenda. That isn't a coincidence. To propose that these laws have nothing to do with a reaction against the LGBT civil rights movement's success requires that one explain why all these laws are being pushed for now.
Those concerned about the laws in the legislatures that passed them tried to add amendments that would prevent the laws from overriding local anti-discrimination ordinances, add specific anti-discrimination wording to the laws, or define protecting children as a compelling government interest. These amendments were defeated. What would be the point in this, if the purpose of the law were not (or at least, was not meant to appear as) to override local anti-discrimination ordinances, to allow discrimination, to prevent protecting children when it would conflict with religious views, and so forth? (Citation)
When asked whether the law would make it legal for a business to refuse to serve gay customers, the governor who signed it refused to answer six times. If it wasn't intended to make this legal, why...
It's not just gay marriage though. There's also the whole birth control and abortion thing. And more generally the line that Christians are being persecuted and need more legal protections in this country has been growing for awhile now. See the "War on Christmas" for a particularly silly angle, but generally the right wing Christians see their ideas losing influence and are fighting back. They perceive not being in charge as being persecuted. If they can't keep using the government to attack, they can at least keep it from protecting their targets.