Now, if you recognize the name Phillip Burton, you’ll instantly know that the above passage took place long before Indiana’s Special Rights for Bigots law was enacted. Burton was a California congressman who died in 1983.
So what is the above passage?
It is taken from the transcript of the first congressional hearing on a federal gay(-only) rights bill, held on Oct. 10, 1980 in San Francisco.
The other person in the conversation was a preacher whose church had been sued for discrimination under the San Francisco gay(-only) rights ordinance. He and his church had prevailed – in all likelihood, rightfully so. But, he was also making clear what he felt as though his (special) rights were in the broader context, outside of the church doing business as a church.
If the Government is saying I cannot make a decision on the basis of morality, then the Government is discriminating against me….
The special right to “make a decision on the basis of morality” is what the McIlhennys of Indiana demanded and received.
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