Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has banned city-funded travel to the state of Indiana. His reason for imposing the restriction is based on Indiana becoming the latest state to pass a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)” which has been put into place simply to “prohibit laws that ‘substantially burden’ a person’s freedom of religion unless the government can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden.”
Mayor Hancock is afraid the Indiana law opens the flood gates of discrimination against gays saying, as reported by 9News, “This law is just wrong, plain and simple, and we will not tacitly condone discrimination through the use of taxpayer dollars.”
What proof does the Mayor have for this future discrimination which prompts him to wage a travel war against Indiana? No proof whatsoever. Hancock’s fear of what may come can only be based in an irrational fear that people of Faith, left unrestricted, will use their Faith as weapons. Or that, as Colorado House Democrat Joe Salazar has said, they will use their Faith in God to “treat people cruelly.” Hancock’s fear is not grounded in reality, but rather more of a hysteria. So strong is this fearful hysteria that it’s led Mayor Hancock to react in a bigoted way against not just Indiana’s people of Faith, but the 83% of Americans who identify themselves a Christians, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or other faiths. To be so frightened to think 263 million people are ticking time bombs just waiting for a law to give them permission to attack fellow citizens must be a thing of nightmares for him.
Beyond the bigoted behavior and insensitive words, the Mayor is grossly misinformed. The question must be asked, “Why has Mayor Hancock not imposed a travel ban on the other 19 states that have RFRA statutes?” Why are there no words of condemnation directed towards President Bill Clinton for his 1993 signing into federal law the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” which is the basis for all the state RFRA laws, including Indiana’s? Why no travel ban to Illinois who passed RFRA and no chastisement of President Obama who voted for the Illinois law as a state senator? Since Mayor Hancock makes no mention of the federal law and the many state laws which are all but identical to Indiana’s, he is proving to be completely devoid of facts. If there is someone on his staff responsible for researching issues for him, he might consider making a change.
Of course, there’s another perk when Denver’s top official holds a press conference denouncing the great state of Indiana: he gets to hop on the bandwagon of hate. This has been great photo opportunity and chance for Hancock to proclaim himself just as strong a defender of the LGBT community as anyone in America. In doing so, he fails to notice the log in his own eye as his unfounded and highly insensitive personal attacks on the vast majority of Americans reveals his own intolerance, bigotry, and complete failure to grasp the facts. It reveals his complete misunderstanding of what the vast majority of people of Faith have in their hearts. I’m certain a great many of those in Colorado are praying for him so his eyes can be opened to that truth.
And let’s be honest. This has nothing to do with non-discrimination towards the LBGT community. This is an effort to force those who hold Christian values based on biblical teachings to submit by force of the mob or by force of government. An individual asked several Dearborn Michigan Muslim bakery owners to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, and the requests were all denied. We have heard not a single outcry from big media or gay activists, nor has Mayor Hancock updated his boycott list. Why is that?
Denver deserves better than the behavior on display from their Mayor. The entire state of Colorado deserves better.