I’ve been away from home for the last 11 days. I was having so much fun last week, I forgot to write my blog! I almost never miss a week but oh, well!

I began my vacation with a retreat. It was from Friday evening through Sunday early afternoon. My quiet retreat away was interrupted by a trip to the local emergency room. Just prior to leaving on Friday, I was bitten on my thigh by what I thought was a mosquito. By Saturday morning the area around the bite was hot and red and the swollen. The redness was growing. Those in the know recommended I visit an emergency room. It seemed like I was just having an allergic reaction to the bug bite and the ER doctor thought the same. He gave me four prescriptions and sent me on my way. Before letting me go, he drew a circle around the redness and told me that if it got any bigger to come back to the ER.

Sunday the redness had grown considerably. So back I went. This time he told me he thought I had a staph infection. Not exactly what you want to hear! And I would need to stay in the hospital at least overnight for intravenous antibiotics. After I was settled in my room, I was visited by an infectious disease doctor. I was impressed this hospital had one on staff. He told me it was not staph but more likely a strep infection. Who knew you could strep thigh!

Thankfully, I got out of the hospital the next day, in plenty of time to be there to pick up my grandchildren from the airport. I sure didn’t want to miss any time with them!

sincerely held religious beliefThis got me thinking about the importance of marriage. My husband was able to be with me and if needed, he would have been able to make decisions about my care. Before marriage equality, whether a same-sex couple was married or not, they may or may not have been able to even be present when their spouse was hospitalized. It all depended on what state they were in and whether or not that state and even that hospital recognized their marriage, their relationship. Today, marriage equality is a fact.

The problem is, in many states, a same-sex couple can get married over the weekend and lose their jobs and their housing the next day. Many states are passing “religious freedom” bills. They allow anyone to discriminate based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Who’s to decide what constitutes a sincerely held religious belief? And what if they do? What if their sincerely held religious belief will not allow them to provide service to someone who is Jewish? Muslim? African American? Hispanic? Disabled? Is that okay too? Or is it just okay to discriminate against someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. There are many more good people in this world than those who discriminate against our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. But if we say nothing, do nothing, do not raise our voices in collective protest, evil will triumph.