On March 26, Governor Mike Pence (R) of Indiana signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a piece of legislation that has given businesses, corporations and individuals the right to claim “religious beliefs” as a defense when being sued by a private party.
On the surface the law doesn’t seem too bad. It’s purpose is to protect the rights of those who practice any particular religion, but when you look deeper, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act sets the people of Indiana and the United States as a whole quite a few years back. In practice, this law would allow businesses, corporations and individuals to deny services to someone based on their race, sexual orientation and gender without any fear of retribution.
The sad thing is that we have already seen this happen. First in Oregon, where a bakery made national news for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Now in Indiana, a Pizzeria who refuses to provide catering for gay weddings closes down due to backlash over their comments, then receives over $850K in donations from supporters.
With the Easter season upon us, we at Planting Peace remember the messages of love and acceptance that was spread by Jesus Christ who is honored in this time, and we are saddened by the chorus of hatred that has showed its face in the passing of this law. We have decided to send a message of love and hope to Governor Pence of Indiana in the form of a rainbow Easter basket filled with love and chocolate to remind him, as well as any like-minded supporters of the bill and other forms of discrimination, that whispering love is much more powerful than screaming hate.