There are few things more important to Indiana policymakers and lobbyists than the welfare of our children. Just ask them–or ask Eric Miller, who routinely appears at the legislature to insist that we have to disadvantage gay people “for the children.” Miller has worked diligently to “protect” Hoosier children from the dangers posed by GLBT folks, no matter how fanciful or invented those dangers might be.
For some reason, Miller is far less concerned about the documented, decidedly real-life threat posed by unlicensed church daycare operations. As the Indianapolis Star reported in January
Child advocates have been pushing for decades for tighter scrutiny of unlicensed Indiana day cares but have often watched the legislature take little action, even as the grim tally of child injuries and deaths has grown..An investigation last year by The Indianapolis Star found that at least 22 children have died in Indiana day cares since 2009, with 16 of those deaths in unlicensed day cares.
As the Star noted, bills to tighten licensing requirements have died in prior sessions, killed by objections that the regulations would “infringe on the religious freedom of the churches that run day-care ministries.”
Eric Miller of the conservative advocacy group Advance America has been among the loudest voices of that position.
So let me see if I have this right. Miller says Indiana needs new laws discriminating against gay citizens because children will be traumatized if they have two mommies or see gay neighbors being treated like everyone else. But Indiana absolutely doesn’t need new laws to prevent children from being neglected or abused in unsupervised facilities affiliated with a church. Because making a church follow the same rules that apply to other daycare operators will infringe their religious freedom.
Let’s call that what it is: utter bullshit.
On that logic, church school bus drivers should be exempted from traffic laws. Religious structures shouldn’t have to be built in conformity with building and fire codes.
Eric Miller and his cohorts don’t give a rat’s patootie about the welfare or safety of Hoosier children. They care only about pursuing–and in Miller’s case, profiting from–their Christianist agenda.
The biggest danger to children comes from a legislature cowed by these pious charlatans.