John M. Becker

Bachmann to Blitzer: Tolerate Evangelical Intolerance

Filed By John M. Becker | February 27, 2014 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: anti-discrimination law, Arizona, CNN, Michele Bachmann, religious exemption, religious privilege, special rights, Wolf Blitzer

bachmann-blitzer.pngLast night, before Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed an anti-LGBT "right to discriminate" bill, Tea Party Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann went on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and told the CNN host that she supports these bills.

Not only that, but she suggested that it would be "intolerant" to ask anti-LGBT evangelicals to serve all members of the public and play by the same rules as everyone else in the public marketplace.

[Bachmann] used part of her time to urge "tolerance for the community of people who hold sincerely-held religious beliefs." While the congresswoman said she respects both sides of the debate, she said she does not think Governor Jan Brewer should veto the bill as other conservatives have been urging her to do.

Asked by Blitzer if the bill will "open the door for less tolerance for gays," Bachmann answered, "In fact, it's just the opposite. This is a decided level of intolerance. It's effectively eviscerating the rights of freedom of speech, expression, and religious expression for the people of Arizona and it sets a terrible precedent."

Blitzer pushed back, calling the bill "discriminatory" and not "respectful" to the gay community.

"Remember we are treating people who hold sincerely-held religious beliefs differently than other Americans either," Bachmann said. "This isn't one side or another. What we're talking is tolerance on both sides. And it is not tolerant to force people to violate their religious beliefs." She said if Brewer does veto the bill, it will "serve us not very well in terms of tolerance in the United States."

Don't you love how she assumes that all "sincerely-held religious beliefs" are anti-LGBT, completely ignoring the many religious traditions and people of faith who proudly and boldly support equality? Oh Michele.

Watch the exchange, after the jump.

I've written this before, but it bears repeating: when social conservatives like Michele Bachmann plead for "tolerance" from those who believe LGBT people deserve basic rights like the freedom to marry, the freedom to work, and the freedom to access public services without discrimination, what they're really asking is for us to affirm their anti-gay bigotry.

Because they know they've ultimately lost the equality battle, they've shifted their focus from perpetuating discrimination to protecting privilege. They seek to institute a hierarchy of prejudice in which so-called "traditionalism" -- AKA homophobia -- is viewed as a legitimate perspective worthy of respect and deference in civil society, rather than regarded with the scorn and revulsion that rightfully accompanies other toxic social evils like racism and anti-Semitism. And as far as they're concerned, the only way for equality supporters to be truly "tolerant" is for us to buy into the idea that some forms of hatred are worse than others.

Sorry, Michele, no dice. Those of us working for equality and justice for LGBT people won't stop until our culture treats corrosive anti-LGBT prejudice in exactly the same way that we treat other harmful radioactive waste: by banishing it from civil society and pushing it as far out on the fringes as possible.

The best part? We're winning.

h/t: Joe. My. God.


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