Republicans are all about state’s rights, which has long been an end-around for red states to attempt to avoid the federal policies passed by politicians in blue states and maintained by sensible Supreme Court justices. I have never been a big believer in state’s rights, but for those of us in comfortably blue states, they’re starting to seem a lot more appealing (sorry red-state liberals). It’s really the best way forward for progressives who look at the electoral map and think, “Ugh. Why can’t we just secede from the Union?”
That’s even more appealing now that Republicans control the Presidency, both Houses, and 31 governor’s mansions. Progressives still have the numbers, but conservatives have all the power right now, and they own roughly 2/3 of the states. Even in states where they don’t own the governor — like North Carolina — they still control all the power, as we have seen this last week (including its failure to repeal HB2 yesterday).
The situation is now getting even more dire as Ted Cruz is reintroducing a bill that once didn’t have a shot in hell at passing, but some — including Cruz — believe could get through the Republican-controlled Congress. It’s called the First Amendment Defense Act, which basically uses the First Amendment as a weapon against … the First Amendment.
[The First Amendment Defense Act] would prohibit the federal government from taking “discriminatory action” against any business or person that discriminates against LGBTQ people. The act distinctly aims to protect the right of all entities to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on two sets of beliefs: “(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
In other words, though the Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage, this law would nevertheless allow bigots to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. It’s basically “separate but equal” all over again. Restaurants could theoretically bar gay or lesbian customers. Hell, businesses could discriminate against straight people who support gay marriage. It’s bigotry enshrined into law.
Can it pass? I don’t know. I think it gets through the House, but I have to believe there are enough socially moderate Republicans to stop it in the Senate. It’s certainly not something the majority of Americans want, but since when did Republicans care about that?
Cruz is already decrying Democrats under the Trump administration, arguing that they will become “obstructionists at a level we’ve never seen” and will “filibuster absolutely everything they can.”
Let’s hope, for once, that Cruz is right.