What does it mean to be an American? A far-reaching question that clearly does not have one straightforward, definitive answer. There is a huge sense of freedom here, the belief you have the right to be who you are and to live, unencumbered, as you choose – but how much of a reality is that?
The recent signing into law in Indiana to allow businesses to refuse service to gay customers is a slap in the face for ‘freedom’ – you can argue that the religious people who own companies and businesses should have the freedom to decide who they serve, but it seems like a slippery slope. What group of people next? If your deeply held religious views make you so against one group of people that you cannot even consider having them in your establishment, then do not be in a role of public service.
Really, what does this all mean? Will gay people have to identify themselves in some way so as to make it easy for them to de denied service? Are we all going to have to declare our sexual preferences when we try and book a hotel room, order a cake for a party, buy clothes, order a coffee, buy some music etc? Will there be signs indicating a companies religious preferences so gay people can avoid them?
I am truly perplexed as to what it means to be free in America – perplexed because it seems you can have all the freedoms and equalities you want as long as there is a forced conformity. Surely if there is freedom and equality for one, it should be for all?