Conservatives and liberals have been at odds on some issues, but none more prominent than policies supporting the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community.
Tim Gill, a Democrat with deep pockets, has been fighting for members of the LGBTQ for decades. He recently revealed a disturbing plan to “punish the wicked” Christians in the South who still oppose the LGBTQ community, according to Rollingstone.
Tim Gill is a software programmer who built his wealth in the 1990’s when home computing was becoming mainstream. He has taken that wealth and funneled it into a number of LGBTQ support groups and causes to fuel their efforts.
His total donations are estimated at $422 million over the span of thirty years. This makes him the single largest American donor to the LGBTQ cause.
His donations helped facilitate the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges that resulted in the legalization of marriage in all 50 states. While many in the LGBTQ community have seen this as a wild success and pulled back in their work, Gill continues to fight.
His latest crusade is against various Religious Freedom Restoration Acts passed by Republicans in some states. These RFRA laws allow Christian-based business the right to deny service to members of the LGBTQ community to protect their religious beliefs.
Gill vowed to fight those states supporting RFRA’s saying “We’re going into the hardest states in the country. We’re going to punish the wicked.”
Individuals like Gill make it increasingly harder for Christians to stand up for their religious beliefs. The Christian Post tells of how Stephen Tennes and his family were banned from selling at the local farmer’s market by East Lansing, Michigan, city officials, for refusing to host a same-sex wedding on their farm property. They filed a lawsuit in response.
In an interview with The Daily Signal, Tennes says his family filed the lawsuit because “This isn’t just about our ability to sell at the farmer’s market. It’s really about every American’s right to be able to make a living and not have to worry about the fear of being punished by the government.”
Gill’s efforts to remove RFRA laws would result in Christian business owners being forced to provide services to LGBTQ members or suffer severe lawsuits and fines. Such was the case with two bakery owners in Oregon who were fined $135 thousand for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, as revealed in an article by The Christian Post.
The advancement of LGBTQ rights creates a complex issue for Christians. On the one hand, discrimination and hatred towards another person are unacceptable, and we’re meant to treat others with love and kindness. On the other, engaging in activities related to gay rights, such as hosting a same-sex wedding, could be seen as support for a lifestyle considered morally wrong by the Christian faith.
It results in a struggle between rights of LGBTQ individuals and the religious freedom rights of Christians. And with each passing bit of legislation, it would seem that Christians are slowly losing their right to religious freedom.