When I heard through the mainstream media that a gay couple in Indiana was denied catered pizza for their wedding, I knew something didn’t add up. What self-respecting gay men would serve pizza at their wedding, even in Indiana?
The premise was that the intent of Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (similar to the federal law Bill Clinton signed and to laws adopted in about 21 other states) was to discriminate against gays. It wasn’t. But the drive-by media had to gin up some “what if?” controversy.
The left wanted to find one merchant who would have a problem catering a hypothetical same-sex wedding. They found one in Walkerton, Ind., population 2,144 (and when you don’t count the gays, its population is 2,144). A reporter was sent door to door in Walkerton asking this outlandish hypothetical question, and the owner/operator of Memories Pizza took the bait. She said she would prefer not to cater a gay wedding.
Cue the selective and trumped-up national outrage!
This is why Rush Limbaugh describes them as the “drive-by media.” Like the now-debunked University of Virginia fraternity gang-rape case and the Duke lacrosse team fictitious rape, the leftist media manufactures a story that fits their narrative, no matter the facts. They then hit the airwaves with the story, concluding that it reflects the bigotry and sexism of America. By the time the truth trickles out, and the story is proven false, it’s old news. They take no responsibility and just move on to the next drive-by ambush.
Disingenuous, left-wing outrage follows these stories. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, indicated he would not sell iPhones in Indiana because of the religious-freedom law. Never mind that he sells them in countries like Iran and Russia, which kill homosexuals. His selective outrage is meant to endear him to Democrats, who like it because Indiana is a red state. Cook recently came out of the closet and is under a lot of pressure. He’s now expected to turn every Apple new product-launch event into a flamboyant musical.
Gay rights advocates who boycotted Arizona, and almost single-handedly stopped the gay rodeo tourism business there, also tried to stop Indiana’s hosting of the NCAA basketball Final Four. Yet they were torn between standing on social justice principles versus stopping a sporting event where teams of young men shower together afterward.
Trying to conjure up another anti-gay story, the leftist media pressed conservative Dr. Ben Carson with a “gotcha” question to justify his opinion that being gay is a choice. He made the fair point that men often go into prison straight and come out gay. The same could be said about Pottery Barn.
I could argue either side of this law, but lean toward less laws, more freedom. Bear in mind, RFRA is usually used to protect Muslim prison inmates who want to keep their beards or churches who feed the homeless, resulting in neighborhood residents complaining.
We need to all move past this, so let’s dispel four myths about gay marriage.
One: It’s not a special privilege. A special privilege is a law that says churches that push anti-gay-marriage agendas don’t have to pay taxes. Gay couples pay taxes.
Two: “It defies the Bible by redefining marriage.” That ark has long sailed. The reality is that you can no longer sell your daughter into marriage for a goat or cow, and no longer is a marriage valid only if the bride is a virgin (Deuteronomy 22:13:21). We have been redefining marriage for years, and for logical reasons.
Three: gay marriage will weaken a straight marriage. It won’t, but you not working, drinking and carousing will.
Last: gays try to convert people. No. You’re thinking of Scientology and the Mormons – you know, some of the groups with the special tax breaks.
There will be other unanticipated problems and roles to sort out with gay marriages. Who won’t stop and ask for directions? Who drives and who nags? Who takes forever to get ready?
Hopefully we all can be patient as we evolve on gay marriage. We have come a long way. I see a day when gay marriage is just like regular marriage, when the only folks in America who are mad about how gay marriage is working out are the gays who are married. And we can stop judging people based on who is gay or straight, and get back to judging people as we always have, by their shoes and what car they drive.
(Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com.)