Last week, Indiana governor Mike Pence signed a religious freedom bill that would allow businesses and service providers to openly discriminate against LGBT people if they so desire. It's a horrible, bullshit law. Nobody should be denied entry or service because a person who's into the Bible disagrees with who they love. A political party in Northern Ireland is angling to push through a similar kind of bill.
Gay marriage is legal in the midwestern state, but some companies are just fed up of having to actually interact with gays, hence the new law 'empowering' people to tell LGBT people to sling their hook if they want to. Pence gave a wafer thin statement after he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
"The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion," he said, "But today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action."
However, the discriminators didn't consider every consequence of the bill – but someone else did. Bill Levin, a weed worshipper, has set up the First Church of Cannabis (complete with GoFundMe page) and he's announced on Facebook that his registration has been approved. Pence and his fellow lawmakers have been so dedicated to protecting everyone's religious beliefs that if you can argue that getting high is integral to your religious beliefs, you'll probably get away with it. Read Levin's announcement below, along with 12 simple commandments for healthy living, as decreed by his 'church':
You might think that loads of people in a room getting stoned and claiming that it's for the sake of "religion" would be fairly easy for cops to clamp down on, but Indiana attorney Abdul Shakim-Habazz told Raw Story that the new anti-LGBT law makes it somewhat difficult.
“I would argue that under RFRA, as long as you can show that reefer is part of your religious practices, you got a pretty good shot of getting off scot-free. I would argue marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and wine used in religious ceremonies. Marijuana isn’t any more 'addictive' than alcohol, and wine is used in some religious ceremonies."
So while Indiana may have allowed businesses freedom to discriminate against LGBT people, the state accidentally dusted off the welcome mat for a load of stoners to set up a church. I don't know any governors from Indiana, but I imagine they're embarrassed about this loophole. Once they've finished being embarrassed about being shown up by weed worshippers, they should probably move on to being embarrassed about supporting the idea of businesses asking a gay person to leave their shop because they're gay.
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