Man, when I’m right, I am right!


Crossposted from

Mike PenceGovernor Mike Pence of Indiana

The Indiana Assembly passed, and Governor Mike Pence signed, a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” similar to Arizona’s SB1062 from last year, which was vetoed by then-Governor Jan Brewer under the threat of more boycotts of a state still reeling from boycotts sparked by anti-immigrant SB1070 in 2010. I mostly agree with WaPo’s Hunter Schwarz’ analysis on how it is playing out differently in Indiana.

While Indiana has begun to feel the heat from businesses (and the NCAA, which is hosting the Final Four in Indianapolis next week), it doesn’t face two particular pressures Arizona did: (1) hosting a Super Bowl the following year and (2) a pre-existing narrative that it’s an intolerant state. Arizona already lost Super Bowl hosting duties once before, in 1993, because it didn’t recognize Martin Luther King, Jr., Day as a state holiday. And coupled with the furor over SB 1070, the controversial immigration enforcement law Brewer signed in 2010, the state was on the verge of becoming known for intolerance, not a good thing for business and tourism. Brewer said she vetoed the bill because it would have created more problems than it solved, but it didn’t hurt that the state’s economy also could have suffered.

Schwarz did miss one crucial thing, though. Indiana’s bill is exactly like Arizona’s except that it has one additional important provision (emphasis mine).

Specifies that the religious freedom law applies to the implementation or application of a law regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity or official is a party to a proceeding implementing or applying the law. Prohibits an applicant, employee, or former employee from pursuing certain causes of action against a private employer.

Last year when the Chamber of Commerce types put the kibosh on SB1062, I pointed out a couple of times that one of the less-noticed reasons for doing so was that the bill gave any individual standing to pursue a legal remedy if s/he felt forced to violate deeply-held religious beliefs. That class of individuals would include employees, say, of hotels or restaurants refusing to serve gay couples or anyone else who were fired for that. Looks like the business lobby got that little problem taken care of. (This is similar to – and I’m just going to mention this for the 629,473rd time – how the AZ Chamber cut a deal with Russell Pearce in 2010 to strip employer enforcement out of SB1070 in exchange for their “neutrality” on it and a sure path to GOP victories in that year’s midterm elections.)

I also predicted that when SB1062 came back that the proponents would shrewdly stay away from attacking LGBT rights, which people are becoming increasingly comfortable with, and would instead emphasize the pressing need to let nosy nellies deny women reproductive health care in their own damn insurance plans. A new iteration of SB1062 hasn’t emerged in Arizona (yet) but here’s a snippet of Governor Pence’s statement on his signing of Indiana’s bill (again, emphasis mine).

“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.

Pence is too decorous to say it but he means the slut pills. The God-botherers have clearly learned their lesson from the SB1062 debacle and (with the Hobby Lobby wind at their back) are putting slut-punishing at the forefront of all their efforts in the hopes of making the public forget wedding cakes and think instead of irresponsible floozies attempting to get out of their childbearing duties. It just might work.


  1. Why not just make gay people where rainbows sewn on their shirts? That way, when we start rounding them up to ship them out, we will know who to collect. And oh by the way, since they aren’t real people entitled to the same rights as everyone else, we can put them to work in labor camps where we won’t have to interact with them lest they influence our fabulous heterosexual marriages. That is totally what Jesus would have done!

  2. The ncaa should remove the final four or the gay community should protest and shut it down. And that is just for starters. Every college president should be asked if their sports teams will boycott indiana.

    • Absolutely! How can they even imagine playing basketball in Indiana without some assurance that they can violate the religious freedom of Christian bakers and florist in that state!

      • Its ok to violate gay peoples rights just not fundos right to discriminate! Ask fundos if gay people should be prosecuted for being gay. We already have a republiscum goofball wanting to make attending church services mandatory! Pastor Neimuller said it best when they came for others I said nothing when they finally came for me their was no one left to say anything!

      • Christianity was used to justify slavery and then Jim Crow laws too. Should white diner owners who believe that God created black people to be inferior get to not allow them to sit at the counter?

        • Are you trying to equate a behavior to race? I’m sure the civil rights warriors appreciate the analogy!
          Religion and sexuality are both behaviors. Currently religion is protected by the first admendment. Which one covers sexual preference?

          • Wow, sometimes it’s really breathtakingly clear how much conservatism is rooted in people getting off on hurting other people.

  3. #BoycottIndiana started trending on Twitter Thursday and hit the #1 spot (behind a promoted link) Friday.

    I know someone who is from Indiana and a die hard basketball fan. When I asked him if he was making plans to attend the Final Four in Indianapolis, especially if the UA Wildcats are playing, he said that he is boycotting Indiana because of this law. This is someone who would give anything to attend a Final Four. I suspect that this is about to blow up into a BFD for the NCAA this weekend.


      “The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in the statement. “We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees. We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill.”

      “Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce,” Emmert said.

    • I believe it behoove the NCAA to come out strongly against this measure. It would be wise to make a statement and then make sure it is enforced during the tournament. I don’t believe it is feasible to move the tourney now but they could certainly announce that it will no longer have a place in Indiana as long as this law exist and move the final four next year. Of course, I don’t believe this will happen until sponsors of the tournament start making demands or pulling support.

  4. Sharia Law comes to Indiana…they have become what they claimed to fear. Hope it becomes very painful for you….these kinds of decisions have to have harsh consequences.

  5. How can we protect people’s religious freedom if they do not know who or who is not gay? I suggest we form a public registration system so people will be able to identify who they will or will not do business with. Also, we need to protect my neighbors right to not associate with gay people. I suggest we start painting rainbows on every home or business run by someone who is gay. Yes, that will work, we can not let our freedoms be interfered with!

Comments are closed.