Stacy Swimp is part of a sizable group of black ministers in Michigan who are furiously anti-gay. Like all anti-gay bigots, he loves to claim that he’s fighting for “religious freedom” but he hasn’t thought through the obvious implications of his arguments. In an interview with the Tea Party News Network, he offers the same old nonsense.
“We need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to stop them from amending our civil rights bill to include this civil rights language, or my friends, freedom as we know it will no longer exist,” he said.
He’s speaking of a bill in the Michigan legislature that would add sexual orientation and gender expression to the state’s anti-discrimination laws. It’s the same old argument we’ve heard a million times before, but it’s far more disturbing, I think, when it’s made by a black person. Because if their argument is to be taken seriously, if it’s the “end of freedom” to not allow someone to discriminate on the basis of religion, then we have to repeal the Civil Rights Act.
Lots and lots of people believe that their religion demands that they discriminate against those of different races, religions and, perhaps especially, against women. But I guarantee you that he would strongly oppose repealing laws that ban discrimination on those grounds, even though people have sincerely held religious beliefs. He isn’t really in favor of religious freedom by the definition he has for religious freedom, he’s only in favor of being able to discriminate against the people he’s currently bigoted against.