Gay Marriage Religious Freedom, and the Public Discourse


The discussion of the “religious freedom” laws in Indiana, Arkansas, and elsewhere has been seriously skewed by a failure to look very much, if at all, beyond the specific examples offered to justify the laws. This issue is not really about Christian fundamentalist florists or restaurant owners having to provide services to gay couples who are being married; it is, instead, about using those very narrow examples to justify a much more far-reaching legalized bias against LGBT individuals. It is a way to undermine, locally, the seemingly inevitable national extension of the right to marry to LGBT couples.

The most salient example of this skewing of the discussion is the media’s focus—and the Far Right media’s obsession with–the pizza shop whose owners said that they would serve gays but not cater gay weddings. Responding to reported death threats against the owners that have forced them to close the pizza shop…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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