Indiana’s anti-LGBT law is even worse than it seems
The study of the jurisprudence of legalized bigotry took a big step forward in Indiana. The trigger was Indiana’s Republican Gov. Mike Pence signing a law purportedly aimed at expanding protections for business owners’ religious beliefs and practices.
The effect of the law, as an army of critics has pointed out, is to provide religious cover for discrimination against customers and employees.
Here’s how Advance America, an organization that helped lead the campaign for SB 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, described its rationale:
“Christian businesses and individuals deserve protection from those who support homosexual marriages and those who support government recognition and approval of gender identity (men who dress as women).
It seems that I can’t get this topic off my mind. It’s been circulating in many major news outlets. There has been a huge outcry about this action taken by the Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence. It has become the law of their state.
This is poised to affect the rights of the LGBTQ community living in the state.
One wonders where it will all stop. Who will be the next minority affected: Jews, Latinos, African American?
Arkansas is preparing to take action and also make this the law of their state.
Where will it stop?
After much progress has been attained where 37 states have declared acceptance of marriage equality and 13 states are left to have nationwide marriage equality, Indiana is the first state to make it legal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (November 16, 1993), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb through 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-4 (also known as RFRA), is a 1993 United States federal law aimed at preventing laws that substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion.
The bill was introduced by Congressman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on March 11, 1993 and passed by a unanimous U.S. House and a near unanimous U.S. Senate with three dissenting votes and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
On Thursday, March 26, 2015, Indiana governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law, and some celebrities, politicians, and journalists — including Miley Cyrus, Ashton Kutcher, and Hillary Clinton, just to name a few — are absolutely outraged. They say the law is a license to discriminate against gay people.
Meanwhile, activists are calling for a boycott. The CEO of SalesForce, a company that does business in China, is pulling out of Indiana. The NCAA has expressed concern about holding events there in the future. And the city of San Francisco is banning taxpayer-funded travel to the state.
This law has the distinction of making Indiana the first state to move overtly, wholesale, on purpose to legalize and say the state approves of businesses refusing to service people on the basis of sexual orientation …. or anything else your religion encourages you to discriminate on the basis of.