Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” Protects Small Business Owners Like Me.

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately, much of it scurrilous, about Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his recent passage of the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Critics say this would effectively legalize discrimination against gay people. Yet as Gov. Pence said on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, “tolerance is a two way street,” so I feel compelled to share my perspective from the other side of that street, as a small business owner who feels that in today’s climate of anti-Christian, anti-business big government, laws like these are desperately needed to protect not just my business, but my freedom, liberty, and the constitutions our founding father intended.

I run a small business that provides a “father-surrogate” for weddings in which the father of the bride has passed away before being able to take part in the most special day of their daughter’s lives. It’s heartbreaking, but those families deserve to have a full, complete, and traditional wedding and this is where I step in. I will take on the name of the departed, wear their old clothes under my tuxedo, and even use their aftershave to match their signature feel and smell. I greet guests, tell the groom to take care of my little girl, crack a few beers and talk golf with the best man, cry during the ceremony, and walk the lucky gal down the aisle. I can provide a variety of services and different “Dad Packages” that can accommodate almost any budget, but the most important thing I do at any wedding is the Father/Daughter dance.

This is really the most special and magical part of any wedding. It says to the beautiful angel dressed in white: “you were once my little girl, but now you’re a woman, and I’m giving you away, but not before this one last embrace.” It’s always been my honor to dance with another man’s daughter in the sight of God and her family and say, “Your daddy is right here, he’ll always be here, in my heart and yours.”

“Butterfly Kisses” comes free with most DadPacks.

I take my job seriously, both as a professional and a man of God, who knows marriage is the cornerstone of our democracy and all of Western civilization. Without marriage our society would surely crumble, which is why I’m so disturbed by recent efforts to FORCE small business owners and people of conscience like myself to provide their services for gay weddings. This goes against everything I believe in and hold sacred. States like Indiana and Alabama are taking the lead in pushing back against this attack on religious liberty, but other states are going the opposite way and officially establishing anti-Christian, anti-family bigotry as the law. Should this wave of “anti-discrimination” be upheld across the nation there will come a day when I could be sued for refusing to dance to Michael Bublé’s “Daddy’s Little Girl” with a lesbian. I mean, what if both of their dads are dead? (They often become lesbian and get “married” much later in life.) Who would I even dance with? Once to Heartland’s “I Loved Her First” and then AGAIN to Jon Mayer’s “Daughters”? What if both brides(?), grooms(?) want the same Darius Rucker song? You must see how absurd this is.

By opening myself up to litigation, I may go out of business and families will be robbed of the wedding experience their dads in heaven want for them.

Now I know I will be accused of this, but I have to state: I do not hate gay people. In fact, it is out of love for them that I must not endorse their lifestyle or “gay marriage” by taking them on as clients and making their dream wedding come true. It is because of this that my freedom and my business are being targeted by bigots and haters. If we don’t take a stand we will have to tell our grandchildren about a time in the past when America was the freest country and the most blessed by God.* What will you say when they ask why you didn’t do anything when our freedoms were being taken away? Please share.

(Note: For families whose grandparents have passed on, I am also available to talk about what I did in the war and explain difficult things about why the past was better to grandchildren of any age.)