Khadija

New Kansas law forgoes social norm of decency

Mar 12 • Khadija Djellouli, Opinion • 385

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It is said that if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. This is exactly what’s happening right now in Kansas.

For those of you who don’t know, the state of Kansas recently passed a law that states businesses are legally permitted to refuse service to people for religious reasons – mainly concerning a disdain for homosexual relationships.

Basically, if shop owners don’t want a gay person shopping in their store, the person wouldn’t be allowed to shop there. The same goes for restaurants, doctors, lawyers and anyone else who provides any sort of service.

This new law has been best described by Jon Stewart, and probably by many others, as “morally repugnant.”

First of all, this country was founded on the idea of religious freedom; it’s in the First Amendment. This has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with hate.

This new law is so discriminatory, it’s inconceivable. I find it difficult to believe that the educated, elected officials of the Kansas state government would think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with passing a law like this.

Whether or not someone is against gay marriage, people should see that a gay person is still a person. Refusing business to absolutely anyone who hasn’t done anything to hurt you is a horrible way to treat a person.

As educated members of society, we grow up learning about discrimination of African-Americans all throughout history and most people who are decent human beings hear about this and think about how awful and horribly out-dated that kind of treatment of people is.

It’s sad to say that it’s all happening again, just with different people.

Sure, maybe this law is just active in Kansas right now, but it was being considered in Arizona – thankfully though, it was turned down. However, other states might look at this law and decide otherwise.

Perhaps someone doesn’t see anything wrong with this kind of law. Now, my next question is, how is someone going to know if his/her customer is gay?

Most of the time there are very few objective physical signs, unless someone walks up to you and says outright that he/she is gay. However, considering the addition of this new law, it’s pretty safe to assume that many gay people aren’t going to be nearly as open about it.

It’s not like people have to go sign up at an office to get their homosexual ID card, so you can’t exactly know for sure. Also if that did happen, that would sound strangely familiar to what happened to a certain community of people during an event that historians refer to as the Holocaust.

You may think that I’m over exaggerating, but there is a reason that this new legislation is being referred to as the “Gay Jim Crow Laws.” The exact same kind of discrimination was happening to African-Americans 50 years ago. Those laws were also backed with religious beliefs.

History is repeating itself.

This needs to be stopped before these laws spread like wildfire across the nation. If we, as educated people, care not only about the future of our country, but how we’re perceived by the world, we need to learn from history.

 

 

KHADIJA DJELLOULI

djelloul001@knights.gannon.edu

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