Republican State Senator Joseph Silk of Oklahoma certainly has some interesting ideas when it comes to equality. And he’s even willing to impose his personal bias on an entire state.
Senator Silk is sponsoring the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015, which would allow businesses to refuse service to anyone they choose and yet remain immune from lawsuits as a result of their discrimination. Silk said he thinks the legislation is necessary because the LGBT community has been infringing on the religious beliefs of Americans. He added:
” The L.G.B.T. movement is the main thing, the primary thing that’s going to be challenging religious liberties and the freedom to live out religious convictions. And I say that sensitively, because I have homosexual friends.”
No doubt if asked, Silk would also say some of his best friends are black. How many times have we heard intolerant jerks like him attempt to defend their hateful actions on the one hand by claiming they have lots of friends in the group they want to oppress on the other?
But Silk wasn’t quite finished making a complete and utter fool of himself. He came right out and declared:
“They don’t have a right to be served in every single store. People need to have the ability to refuse service if its violates their religious convictions.”
Call me naive, but I thought we were beyond this kind of in your face, overt discrimination in America. This weekend we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Selma, a day when the curtain was pulled back and the American people got to see the ugly truth about racial animus. Yet here we are a half century later having to listen to the rationalizations of someone as woefully ignorant as Senator Joseph Silk.
I just hope and pray it doesn’t take another 50 years for our country to realize that equality for all people means exactly that: all people.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.