I've been saying for some time now that the anti-LGBT commentators who are seeking a supposed "right" to not serve LGBT customers whenever their whims feel like it are really seeking the kind of "special rights" that they've long (and wrongly) accused us of seeking. But now, one of the most extreme voices working on that side, Scott Lively, is coming right out and saying it.
This comes from WND:
[Scott Lively's] proposing “The First Amendment Supremacy Clause.”
It states: “In no circumstance shall sexual orientation regulations superseded the First Amendment rights of individuals, churches and religious organizations to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. For the purpose of this statute religious organizations are those whose policies or culture are substantially influenced by religious values, including but not limited to Christian bookstores, adoption agencies, hospitals, businesses, social organizations and student clubs on college campuses.”
It would allow municipalities or other branches of government to adopt nondiscrimination laws demanded by homosexuals without infringing on the constitutional rights of citizens.
Lively said there are efforts already under way in several states to establish such a provision, and more are expected.
“It is our right as Christians to speak the truth of the Bible, and to operate in religious liberty,” he said. “The First Amendment was designed to protect the speech and acts of Christian citizens.”
But he said in today’s America, the political correctness has assumed great power, and even some judges are deciding to opt for the “civil rights” of homosexuals and strip the constitutional rights of Christians.
“The focus of this … is to shift our focus back to what’s really at stake,” he said. “What’s really at stake in our culture are the fundamental First Amendment rights.”
He said it’s obviously best if localities don’t adopt privileges for homosexuals.
But if they are in place, adding the “Supremacy Clause” can right a lot of wrongs, he said
Um, first a quick note to my pals on the other side: it's probably better if you all stay away from words like "supremacy." I mean, I know my opponents don't see themselves as discriminating or trying to seize an unfair societal advantage, but many people do. It would probably be more advantageous for them to stay away from language that helps solidify this idea within the public consciousness. But I digress.
It is truly shocking to hear someone (not to mention someone as extreme as Scott Lively
) come out publicly with this, a plan to literally change our most precious amendment so that it explicitly singles out LGBT people and specifically exalts certain kinds of faith beliefs. He—along with groups like the Family Policy Institute of Washington
, conservative lawyers like Matt Barber
, and far-right elected officials like Sally Kern
, all of whom contributed supportive quotes to the WND piece—is quite literally seeking an America where certain kinds of religious condemnations are codified into law. Scott Lively isn't even suggesting that a certain faith group receive a special exception, since obviously there are LGBT-supportive people over every faith and creed. What he is seeking is some sort of arbitrary supremacy (his word) that puts this one, personally-held, highly discriminatory moral objection in a special and constitutionally protected category.
It's an obviously ludicrous idea that will get about as far out the gate as would a constitutional ban on pizza. But just the fact that this is something that people like Lively and outlets like WND see as a legitimate way forward should give us chills. Yes, we should loudly call it out, because this is the kind of proposal that is so out there that it can only help us show the American public just how far these extreme voices truly want to take their anti-LGBT cause. But at the same time, we should also see this as reason why we must remain vigilant about protecting one another, particularly in places where rights remain so vulnerable and basic peace of mind is still an ongoing journey. After all, supremacy is a quest for dominance. It is an attempt at superiority, with a lust to overpower. When that doesn't work out in the political realm, those who seek this kind of supremacy are unlikely to go quietly into that great night. They will have to move on to something.
My greatest fear at this historic point in the debate is what this admitted drive toward SUPREMACY might look like once all of the other options run out.