The Indiana Thought Process


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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