Today Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a measure that allows businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of “religious freedom.” The signing made Indiana the first state to enact the Jim Crow-esqe like law.
Pence who cowardly signed the bill into law it in a private ceremony in his office Thursday explained his decision to sign by stating that “The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,”and that the law “ensures “religious liberty is fully protected under Indiana law.”
And Indiana is just the beginning eighteen others have similar measures on the books,
THIS MUST BE STOPPED NOW. INDIANA MUST BE MADE AN EXAMPLE AS TO STOP OTHERS STATES.
Back2Stonewall.com fully supports and asks that everyone #BoycottIndiana. We also ask that everyone do your bit to promote this boycott. Contact sports teams, businesses, upcoming conventions, musical acts, anything that produces revenue for the state. Ask them to cancel events and threaten the Governors and his GOP legislation that they will move and take their taxes with them. The only thing the GOP loves more than GOD is money. So let’s hit em where it hurts. And show thatm that hatred and bigotry WILL NOT be tolerated in any form.
Read Pence’s full of shit speech below:
Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith. The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action. One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views. [snip]
This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it. In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana. Indiana is rightly celebrated for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance, and values of our people, and that will never change. Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith.”
A law soon to be introduced in Indiana by Sen. Scott Schneider (R) would borrow and manipulate language from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), that was originally designed to prohibit the government from burdening the religious beliefs of otthes to an anti-gay discrimination law would allow a business owner to use their religious beliefs to justify refusing service to LGBT individuals. .This state law, would supersede any local municipal nondiscrimination laws that are currently in effect in that state to protect LGBT people.
Those involved in the writing and support of this law are so shameless that they are not even trying to hide their bigotry and willfully admit that the law is specifically being written to discriminate against the gay community.
Micah Clark of the American Family Association explained to The Indianapolis Star that the bill would allow small businesses to refuse services to LGBT individuals and also that it would allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples. The Indiana Family Institute made an end-of-year fundraising pitch that promoted the legislation, noting examples of small businesses who were facing discrimination complaints from same-sex couples. Schneider claims, however, that the bill will not discriminate against anyone, but would simply “protect freedom and protect religious liberty.”
These laws are very dangerous and unless we fight against them using everything in our power they set a precedent of discrimination that hearkens back to the Jim Crow laws. So while HRC is making hokey commercials down South in Chad Griffin’s birth state of Arkansas. Who is going to help fight this type of discrimination in the Midwest?
Like a thief in the night, the Mississippi legislature sneakily and quietly passed an Arizona-style anti-gay segregation bill, potentially legalizing anti-gay discrimination throughout the state. The bill, which in an earlier form received unanimous bipartisan support from the state House of Representatives, is almost certain to be signed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant. That will make Mississippi the first state to write anti-gay animus into state law.
After the fallout and debacle of Arizona’s failed anti-gay bill, Mississippi legislators rewrote their state’s measure to seeminngly curb its anti-gay extremism by changing the verbage but by leaving the premise the same using much broarder language. These revisions struck out the bill’s most odious provision, a section that handed private businesses a blank check to refuse service to gay people. What remains at the heart of Mississippi’s reworked bill is a dense proscription against “state action” that “burden[s] a person’s right to exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability,” unless it’s “essential to further a compelling government interest” and “the least restrictive means” of furthering that interest.
The Mississippi legislature’s did this to write a bill so broad that no court could argue its constitutionality by ext alone. Indeed, even the most liberal judges of the Ninth Circuit probably couldn’t find a basis to strike down the measure as it stands now. But some day, an ambitiously anti-gay Mississippian is bound to cite the law in court. And at that point, Mississippi is going to find itself with a Romer problem.
I would say lets boycott Mississippi but what the hell do they have worth boycotting?
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo this morning interviewed attorney Kellie Fiedorek a representative of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF, and formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) about Arizona‘s wide-sweeping anti-gay bill, SB 1062, that would allow “Christians” to legally discriminate against LGBT individuals.
When questioned about the Jim Crow-esque bill Fiedorek told Cuomo there’s “a basic difference between denying someone a cup of coffee or a piece of pizza or selling someone a pencil versus forcing someone to use their creative ability to create a message to support an event, to support an idea that goes against their beliefs.”that a same-sex wedding is not the same as a KKK rally, and asking a photographer to take photos of one is not the same as asking a photographer to take photos of the other.
Cuomo wasn’t having any of it responding: “Counselor, tell me that you’re not analogizing burning a Koran or the KKK with gay marriage? Do you really see those things as the same thing?”
“It will not deny anyone any service. replied Fiedorek. No one will be kicked out of a restaurant or denied a cup of coffee or piece of pizza.”
“What this bill is advocating for is basic freedom, ensuring that everyone is respected and that the government is not allowed to force or to coerce or compel anyone to violate their beliefs or to go against their conscience. This is basically to keep the government from discriminating against people of faith.”
Cuomo aggressively countered: “It allows people to not do business with gays is what it allows. Your organization has a history of trying to hedge the ability to deal with gay marriage and gay rights in the country. All somebody has to do is Google your organization. So let’s just be open and honest about it. Why is dealing with gays or gay marriage out to a substantial burden of someone’s religion? Whose religion does that burden?”
The American Family Association’s resident spokesloon Bryan Fischer called upon all Christians to “fight fire with fire” as gay Jim Crow-like laws (The Human Rights Act) lead to their oppression because “Christians are the new Black”.
Today, after months of deliberations and criticism from both sides of the debate, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has come up with a compromise when it comes to allowing LGBT members into their leadership organization. The deal essentially states that gay scout members are allowed into their organization. But there’s a catch to this deal. The ban on LGBT volunteers and leaders are still very much active, with no signs of being lifted. Some call this a partial victory for the LGBT movement, while I believe that it is anything but a win for us.
This is one of the few times that I’m going to be very candid about my opinion by saying that I am completely disgusted at what this decision today implies. Instead of showing these scouts the importance of leadership and teamwork, they’re being shown how to continually condemn different people with different beliefs as this deal is demonizing to the LGBT community. Seriously what does it say when they are saying that no LGBT volunteers or employees are allowed. What’s their reasoning behind that? Do they think that we prey on young victims and brainwash them into being compact carrying queens? Because if they don’t want us to be mentors to scouts then that means that they believe by nature that we are a manipulative group of people set out to recruit unsuspecting victims. They are essentially implying that we are pedophiles and I am livid at the snide, covert accusation that this decision implies.
This also means that LGBT parents like Jennifer Tyrell can’t even participate with her son in any of the “community” and “family” activities because they don’t believe we are capable or deserving to have the same “rights” as them. How can we trust that they won’t tell him that who his mother is, an out and proud lesbian, that she is wrong for being gay? If they are so indulgent on the notion of honesty, I wish they’d have the courage to say it instead of this vapid attempt to pacify us and the leaders of this community. How do we know that this isn’t some move to ensure whatever manipulative, reparative therapy-like measures will be woven into earning merit badges and by not allowing LGBT volunteers or leaders means they can implement whatever brainwashing techniques to “fix” our children’s beliefs? It’s all hypothetical questions but if they’re still openly excluding us, how can we be assured that ulterior motives are not at play?
Would our children even be allowed to be openly gay in the BSA? Would they condemn the gay scout for any “improper” behavior that they see as “not up to code” when that really means is that anything that they see as feminine or gay. I shake my head at how they would deal with transgendered scout members, a group that has not been mentioned at all by the LGBT activists that are calling this deal a victory. Will they be able to treat a female to male transgendered scout with support and be welcoming or tell them that they’re wrong? Will they allow male to female transgendered scouts to remain in the organization or will they let these scouts be mocked and bullied by other scouts? If they have some implied belief that we’ll grow out of being gay, then they probably will do the same to this group.
And what of the gay scout members in this organization. To me, this implies that the BSA believes that we’ll somehow grow out of being gay. That being gay is just a phase that their Christian Bible Thumping values will somehow lead us out of our “sinful” thinking”. What will they tell to the scout members that come out? Will it be someone nurturing and kind that will sit with the child and help them process this information or will they tell them how they still believe homosexuality is wrong? There are too many questions that no one seems to be asking the Boy Scouts of America.
What happens to the gay scouts who have been with the organization for years as a child and they turn 18? Are they stripped of any titles they spent years on thrown out? Can they no longer progress forward and become an Eagle Scout? What is the point if they can’t even progress any further in the organization? That’s the only conclusion we can come to if they have a cutoff as adults.
All this deal has done at best is present us with more questions than a sign of compromise and change. This may all seem like an outlandish assumption of how they will deal with gay scout members but honestly how do we know we can trust them. So no, this is not a time of celebration for LGBT activists and equal rights advocates. I do not in any way shape or form believe this is a step in the right direction or a show of real progress. This deal is just a more covert, disguised form of prejudice and homophobia. Quite the opposite actually. This is a slap in the face. This is not some change of heart or evolution into seeing that we are people and deserve equal rights. The Boy Scouts of America are STILL condemning who and what we are and to believe anything to the contrary is flat out wrong.
This deal is so reminiscent of the Jim Crow laws, Grandfather Clauses and the 3/5 Compromise of our nation’s history where my African American ancestors were not seen as human. They were denied their rights as citizens and were seen as animals that did not deserve the same treatment that everyone else received because we didn’t fit into the nice, neat little package of“normal good folk“. This deal is saying the same thing, that we are not good enough and cannot be trusted around their children while they can placate any lie and fallacy in ideology onto our children. This deal openly mocks us.
We should be frustrated and upset, because if they don’t trust us, how can we trust them with our children? How can we trust that they will treat instances of bullying fairly when they don’t even believe we have a right to be who we are. Those are the questions we should be asking them right now. It’s about how can we trust them, not the other way around. As a community, we have nothing to prove to these bigots. There’s no way in hell I would ever allow a child of mine in such a demented, callous mindset as the BSA. I do not trust them. And neither should you.