There’s a new type of law sweeping the nation: the SOGI law. SOGI stands for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. These laws, which are being enacted in localities and in states, create new protected classes based upon sexual orientation and gender identity. And they punish citizens who persist in treating people according to the scientific and orthodox position that maleness and femaleness are determined by biology and that marriage is between one man and one woman. These norms, mainstream just a few years ago and going back millennia, become irrational bigotry under the SOGI regime.
SOGI laws are presented as a way to ensure that people who identify as sexual minorities are treated justly. They are supposed to coexist alongside religious liberty. In fact, the preamble of each one states that it seeks a “balancing of differing religious values and matters of conscience so that individuals of good faith can live and work together without undue litigation or burden.” But SOGI laws are completely incompatible with religious liberty.
SOGI ordinances are bad public policy with horrible results for real people. They have been used to penalize wedding vendors: bakers, florists, photographers and also adoption agencies and schools. Oppose same-sex marriage to the point you decline to ply your trade in support of a gay wedding and you’re sued under these laws. Believe it’s wrong to place children in homes with gay or lesbian parents and you lose federal aid. Refuse to treat transgender boys as girls and allow them in restrooms and locker rooms with real girls and the state will come down on you.
Are there religious exemptions? Yes, for churches, some religious non-profits and businesses with very few — like three, perhaps eight — employees.
Ryan Anderson at Heritage Foundation and Robert George of Princeton deal with this issue at length in a piece at Public Discourse entitled, “Liberty and SOGI Laws: An Impossible and Unsustainable ‘Compromise’”
They write: “Big Business and Big Law are using Big Government to impose their cultural values on small businesses and ordinary Americans.” Drs. Anderson and George write that, “in reality the bills favor one side of a cultural debate — the culturally and politically powerful LGBT lobby — at the expense of citizens of goodwill who believe that we are created male and female and that marriage unites a man and a woman.”
The claim is made that sexual orientation and gender identity should be protected as race is. It should not. To elevate a group for protection because of their immoral sexual choices or their sexual confusion — I mean where would it end?
Since the Supreme Court, in Obergefell v. Hodges, redefined marriage nationwide, it’s become more true than ever that the people who need legal protection are those who believe that a man is a man, and a woman is a woman and that it takes one from each of these two categories to make a marriage.