As the country marches toward nationwide marriage equality and polls show record levels of support for same-sex marriage, there’s a fierce anti-gay backlash underway that imperils some of the most basic rights of the country’s LGBT citizens: Under the guise of protecting religious liberty, conservative lawmakers across the country are proposing bills that would allow businesses and individuals not to serve gay people, provided that they discriminate based on their religious beliefs. Among the states to consider such license-to-discriminate legislation is Oklahoma, where the bill’s chief Republican sponsor flatly states that gay people “don’t have a right to be served in every single store.”
“They don’t have a right to be served in every single store,” he added. “People need to have the ability to refuse service if its violates their religious convictions.”
Give Silk some credit. While other supporters of legislation allowing anti-LGBT discrimination glide over the measures’ real-life consequences, he readily owns up to them: If Silk’s bill becomes law, it would mean businesses and individuals denying services to gay people, whom he considers unworthy of equal protection under the law.