Some Gays Defending Indiana RFRA, Apologizing for ‘Mean-Spirited Attacks’

By Rudy Takala | April 7, 2015 | 3:42 PM EDT

 

Bruce Majors, former Libertarian candidate for D.C. mayor. (Libertarian Party)

(CNSNews.com) – Instead of attacking Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), some gays are defending the state law against “civil rights shakedown grifters” and apologizing for the “mean-spirited attacks.”

Bruce Majors, a gay man who ran for mayor of Washington, D.C. last year as a Libertarian, had some hard-hitting words for the liberals who targeted Indiana over the state’s RFRA last week.

“Once again, the gay lobbyists and bureaucrats are seeking more employment, money and power as ‘civil rights’ shakedown grifters at the expense of real progress for gay people,” Majors told CNSNews.com. “I reject all these fascists.”

The original RFRA signed into law by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on March 26 would have allowed private business owners to cite religious objections if they were sued by potential customers for refusing to serve them.

However, after the state law was criticized by liberals and gay rights activists nationwide, Pence signed a revised law that made sexual orientation a protected class in 11 Indiana communities that already prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians, effectively nullifying the RFRA because religious belief could not be used as a defense in a discrimination lawsuit.

However, Majors observed that the law could have a negative impact on gay businesses as well.

“These laws forcing people to associate against their will mean that any gay business – from cruise ships, bed and breakfasts, and gay senior communities and nursing homes that developers have been contemplating – can be stopped by anyone claiming that they are being discriminated against,” he said.

Majors also spoke in support of the “Memories Pizza” shop owners in Walkerton, Indiana who said they could not in in good conscience cater a gay wedding.

“If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal O’Connor, one of the shop’s owners, told a local television station.

The pizza shop received so many threats of violence that it was forced to shut down indefinitely, with one high school golf coach even sending out a request on Twitter for help to “burn down” the shop. The coach, Jess Dooley, was later suspended.

 

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One liberal Website said of the shop’s ordeal, “Sounds like an open and closed case of bigotry rearing its ugly head and quickly being slapped down by the good people of the world, right?”

But Majors pointed out that viewpoints on RFRA were not monolithic, even among gays. “They do not speak for me, nor do they speak for all gay people, as one can see from the openly gay people donating to their relief fund on GoFundMe,” he said.

Majors was referring to a webpage created to help raise money for the pizza shop’s owners in light of their ordeal. Contributors donated $842,442 as of April 4th. They included a woman who identified herself as Courtney Hoffman, who sent $20 - along with an apology on behalf of the gay community.

“As a member of the gay community, I would like to apologize for the mean-spirited attacks on you and your business,” the message read. “I know many gay individuals who fully support your right to stand up for your beliefs and run your business according to those beliefs. We are outraged at the level of hate and intolerance that has been directed at you and I sincerely hope that you are able to rebuild."

Other gay individuals have also come out on the issue in recent days. In a column published last week, Casey Given, another D.C. resident, wrote that the harsh reaction to the Indiana law had backfired.

"As a gay man, I would... likely would avoid Memories Pizza if I were a Walkerton resident (that is, unless their pies are spectacular).

“However, there are many people I encounter on a daily basis that have radically differing views to me. That doesn’t give me an excuse to batter them on their politics just because we don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. Doing so is just downright rude,” Given wrote. “Far from its intended goal of facilitating tolerance, modern progressivism seems to make individuals more hostile to each other."

Given, who is the director of communications at Students for Liberty, continued. “For the sake of sanity, it’s time for society to realize that politics is just one small characteristic of our complex makeup as individuals.”

“We can still be courteous to those who disagree with us; the world would be a very mean and lonely place otherwise,” he concluded.

Majors was even more forceful in his criticism of RFRA opponents, saying that “so-called anti-discrimination laws are largely a sham and have helped no one, other than making pompous liberals feel superior.”