God-botherers and the cranks assembled together as the Indiana Republican Party strike another blow for
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) quietly signed legislation Thursday that could legalize discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act would allow any individual or corporation to cite its religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party. But many opponents of the bill, which included business leaders, argued that it could open the door to widespread discrimination. Business owners who don't want to serve same-sex couples, for example, could now have legal protections to discriminate."[Q]uietly signed legislation." We don't doubt Pence and his fellow Republicans were trying to low-key this homophobic piece of malicious trash. But the potential impact of "The Religious Freedom Restoration Act," perhaps one of the more Orwellian titles for a law that we've ever witnessed, is huge:
"These bills are often incredibly vague and light on details -- usually intentionally. In practice, most of these bills could empower any individual to sue the government to attempt to end enforcement of a non-discrimination law," wrote the LGBT equality group in a report. "The evangelical owner of a business providing a secular service can sue claiming that their personal faith empowers them to refuse to hire Jews, divorcees, or LGBT people. A landlord could claim the right to refuse to rent an apartment to a Muslim or a transgender person."The NCAA, which holds it's Final Four college basketball tournament and is headquartered in Indianapolis, promised to "examine the implications of the bill," and corporate giant Salesforce is cancelling all programs in Indiana. In addition, the Gen Con gaming convention is expected to change its venue from Indianapolis (it's the largest and most lucrative convention hosted by the city).
In a statement Thursday, HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said the Indiana General Assembly and Pence have sent a message saying, "as long as your religion tells you to, it’s ok to discriminate against people despite what the law says."
In the "good for them" category, among the groups and individuals expressing dismay over this retrograde legislation are the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) -- who could teach the Bible-bangers who pushed for this law a thing or three about the real meaning of Christ's teachings -- and, yes, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis.
Editorial boards are also weighing in, with the
This, we have to believe, is a temporary step backward for civil rights for LGBT people, who -- in 2015! --should not have to suffer discrimination because the warped "religious" views of an intolerant minority hold sway over the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid Party.
(Image: Indiana Republican