Anti-LGBT Bill Leads SalesForce to Reduce Investments in Indiana
March 26, 2015 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, along with six other Indiana tech CEOs, co-signed a letter opposing the a bill which would allow business to refuse to serve LGBT customers. When asked about his participation in the effort, Benioff said in an email to IBJ: "We will be forced to dramatically reduce our investment in Indiana based on our employees' and customers' outrage over the Indiana religious freedom bill."

Benioff tweeted, "Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination."

More information about the bill and SalesForce's response to it -
Indiana's governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers
$4 Billion Corp. To Indiana: We Warned You About RFRA, Now We're 'Forced To Dramatically Reduce Our Investment'
Cloud and Proud: Salesforce takes umbrage at Indiana's 'Religious Freedoms' act
posted by dotgirl (332 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm really not clear on how the legislative analysts at the Indiana legislature let this through without stamping "WILL NOT PASS CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW" all over it.

... or possibly they did, I shouldn't assume.
posted by suelac at 11:03 AM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I believe that ExactTarget, Salesforce's email marketing company they acquired last year, is based out of Indiana. Interesting to see how they deal with that.

But good for them! Starve that entire state out of business, if we can.
posted by xingcat at 11:03 AM on March 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


NCAA expresses "concern for holding future events" in Indiana.

Gen Con - the original, longest-running, best-attended gaming convention in the world - will leave Indianapolis
posted by zakur at 11:05 AM on March 26, 2015 [32 favorites]


I'm really not clear on how the legislative analysts at the Indiana legislature let this through without stamping "WILL NOT PASS CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW" all over it.

The goal of this sort of legislation isn't to make law, but to placate the frothing base. They can say "We tried but it was struck down by activist judges," and they will be heroes and martyrs all at once.
posted by maxsparber at 11:07 AM on March 26, 2015 [65 favorites]


Where's Leslie Knope to fix this shenaniganin'
posted by The Whelk at 11:10 AM on March 26, 2015 [32 favorites]


Since the Hobby Lobby ruling this may be constitutional depending on how the courts read it.

This is why when I meet queer people that are anti-choice I remind them that we are next.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:10 AM on March 26, 2015 [11 favorites]




Is there an explanation anywhere of how this RFRA is different from ones in 18 other states?
wiki
posted by stobor at 11:16 AM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Paul Waldman: How a new ‘religious freedom’ law could intensify the 2016 battle over religious right voters
The bill in Indiana doesn’t mention words like “gay” at all. It merely says that the government can’t “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.” And a key element of the conservative Christian argument about religious freedom is that “exercise” of religion isn’t just about rituals and prayer and worship; t extends to everything, including commerce.

The implications are therefore enormous. Forget about the baker — what if you own a restaurant and think homosexuality is an abomination, and therefore you want to hang a “No gays allowed” sign in your window? Under this law, you’d be able to. Or what if you’re a Muslim who owns an auto repair shop, and you want to refuse to serve women, because you say your religion tells you that women shouldn’t drive?

Those kinds of concerns are what led former governor Jan Brewer to veto a similar bill in Arizona, after she got all kinds of pressure from the state’s business community, which feared boycotts of the state. That same pressure has been building in Indiana, though it doesn’t seem to have moved Governor Pence.

The more news this Indiana law gets, the more likely it is that it will become an issue in the presidential primaries. And it fits neatly within the key divide among Republicans: on one side you could have business groups that are nervous about negative economic impacts and strategists who don’t want the GOP to be known as the party of discrimination, while on the other side you have candidates eager for the votes of religious right primary voters.

I have no doubt that candidates like Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, or Mike Huckabee will rush to support the Indiana law. The real question is what happens with the candidates who want to get as much support as they can from conservative Christians, but also want to appeal to the more moderate voters (and funders) who may not be so pleased with these kinds of laws. Those candidates also surely know that general election voters will be much less favorably inclined toward this law, and that it could well fit into a broad theme of Republicans as intolerant, not only on issues affecting gay people but on immigration as well. If you’re Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, or Jeb Bush, this could be a very tricky issue to confront.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:17 AM on March 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm not going to dump on Indiana because shit goes down in all states, but there is obviously shit going down in that state that their government should try to knock off their to-do list before they decide they have the free time to codify all of their bigotry.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:18 AM on March 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is awesome of SalesForce, and I hope others follow suit, but the GenCon thing is a little overblown in that they already have a contract keeping them in Indianapolis for another five years, and have stated they have no plans to break that contract. Now, perhaps they will now, indeed, break that contract, but I dunno. People have also brought up other states around them, including Illinois and Kentucky, have similar laws so GenCon upping and leaving will be difficult.

A lot can happen in five years though.
posted by tittergrrl at 11:19 AM on March 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Republicans: Captains of Bigotry.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:21 AM on March 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


I'm not going to dump on Indiana because shit goes down in all states,

"They're all the same! All 50 sides do it!"
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:22 AM on March 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


George Takei Joins Gamers in Shunning Indiana

So embarrassing for this state. For anyone in Indiana who would like to keep track of any businesses that are openly discriminating, there is a Facebook group dedicating to doing exactly that. And on the more positive side of the coin, there is also a site dedicated to businesses who openly oppose discrimination and welcome anyone.
posted by Timmoy Daen at 11:23 AM on March 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm really not clear on how the legislative analysts at the Indiana legislature let this through without stamping "WILL NOT PASS CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW" all over it.

There's nothing unconstitutional about this law. Sexual orientation is not a protected class, and the law itself is not much different than the federal government's own religious bigotry freedom law. SCOTUS used that law in the Hobby Lobby decision to allow pretty much any company to ignore pretty much any regulation under the guise of "sincerely held religious belief."
posted by dirigibleman at 11:30 AM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm wondering when we will see the first court case that involves a white supremacist who refused service to a black person or a jew claiming religious freedom as his pass card.
posted by hippybear at 11:30 AM on March 26, 2015 [22 favorites]


This just goes to show that Pence really doesn't give two shits about Indiana or its economy, he's more concerned with his own (frankly nonexistent) Presidential prospects among bigots.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:30 AM on March 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yeah, the Indiana legislature sort of has a history of being unable to deal with reality: See their previous attempts to legislate the value of Pi to be equal to 3.2.
posted by Freen at 11:33 AM on March 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


I have family in Indiana and visit there two or three times a year. I'll be very interested to see if the "no gays" signs start going up. Admittedly, Cummins is a big deal where my family lives and I cannot believe that they're going to be cool with the recruitment problems they'd have if things got out of hand. And I mean, when they say frog, local people jump - without Cummins, a huge chunk of the state economy will dry up and blow away.
posted by Frowner at 11:33 AM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Isn't the World Church of the Creator, or whatever they're calling themselves these days, based in IL? They seem like they'd be all over some "God Says: No Blacks Allowed" signs. Someone ought to get on that; they'd make a really swell test case and public face for this 'religious freedom' movement.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2015


This from the volokh conspiracy is a pretty readable breakdown of what laws like this can or can't do (we think, maybe, there are many uncertainties).
2. In interpreting the terms of RFRA — such as “substantial burden,” “compelling government interest,” and “least restrictive means” — courts look to Sherbert/Yoder-era Free Exercise Clause caselaw. The “findings” section of RFRA states that “the compelling interest test as set forth in prior Federal court rulings is a workable test for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing prior governmental interests” (emphasis added), and cites Sherbert and Yoder favorably. And the whole point of RFRA was to “restor[e]” a body of rulings that were overturned by Smith — rulings that recognized a constitutional right to presumptive exemptions from generally applicable laws.

Unfortunately, this body of preexisting caselaw is not terribly broad or deep. As we’ll see later, for instance, it tells us less than we’d like to know about what counts as a compelling interest. But what counts as a substantial burden is somewhat clearer; we’ll see this in more detail in a later post, but for now, note that the following all constitute a substantial burden:
...And you can go read their list there.
posted by rtha at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Side note: if I see one more use of the term "religious freedom" that isn't in scare quotes, I'm really gonna lose it.
posted by scratch at 11:38 AM on March 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


I used to spend a week every winter in Arizona. I stopped the minute the "Papers, please" law was passed. I haven't been back since. I miss it, but I said I would boycott, and I have. I have no business in Indiana, but I wouldn't start spending any money there now.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:39 AM on March 26, 2015 [22 favorites]


What the actual fuck.

Someone should start a religion that shuns and bans Christian bigots, just to show them what actual discrimination is like. Obviously they've forgotten.
posted by zarq at 11:40 AM on March 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


I admit to not going to church very regularly. And maybe I've been going to the wrong ones, but can a business really have a religion?

People make a big show of demonstrating their religosity by going to church. I've never sat and farted next to, say, exxon-mobile in the pew.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:41 AM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


... or possibly they did, I shouldn't assume.

I had assumed that they were expecting and welcoming the inevitable constitutional challenges, both in hopes of getting the thumbs up from the supreme court and as a cheap demonstration to their base regardless of whether or not it passes legal muster.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:43 AM on March 26, 2015


There's nothing unconstitutional about this law. Sexual orientation is not a protected class

Those aren't the same thing.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:43 AM on March 26, 2015 [20 favorites]


I admit to not going to church very regularly. And maybe I've been going to the wrong ones, but can a business really have a religion?

Yes. (And that's the reason for this.)
posted by The Bellman at 11:44 AM on March 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Those aren't the same thing.

And neither of them are necessarily true.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:46 AM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


My church denomination is in the process of pulling our ($6 million) General Assembly out of Indiana because of this.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:49 AM on March 26, 2015 [78 favorites]


This is why when I meet queer people that are anti-choice I remind them that we are next.

Constitutional or not, it's pretty clear that these "religious freedom" screeds are just a smokescreen for discrimination against minorities. For similar reasons, I don't get why the GLBT community in Utah got behind its recent "anti-discrimination" bill, which is just code for letting Mormons and other religious extremists do whatever they please to us under color of law. Also see the recent California ballot measure proposal to allow the lawful execution of gays on sight.

This is some serious 1930s Nazi brownshirt bullshit. Fairminded Americans need to get off their asses and be concerned about this, before they end up in these nutty fundamentalists' crosshairs for whatever nutty fundamentalist reason.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:51 AM on March 26, 2015 [24 favorites]


The goal of this sort of legislation isn't to make law

Left-leaning people say this a lot, but I don't think it's really true. It's certainly a nice bonus that, if your openly discriminatory legislation gets tossed into the rubbish bin, you can make a lot of noise about how your valiant efforts to save American morality were trumped by spoiled urbane activists, but the initial attempt isn't so self-defeating it has that as its specific goal. Republicans would probably actually like to pass laws protecting bigots' "right" to discriminate or making minorities' presence in public illegal; we shouldn't really shrug that off. Of course much of politics is, well, politics, but it's also helpful to treat at face value any attempts at legislation as sincerely meant. In this (and in many other recent) case, to sincerely oppress minorities.

Like, maybe it is the last gasp of a dying monster, but have you seen dying monsters? They do the most damage when they know they're as good as dead.
posted by byanyothername at 11:52 AM on March 26, 2015 [37 favorites]


Ugh. I'm starting to think that the RFRA has a serious chance of giving welfare reform a run for its money in the human-suffering-for-the-sake-of-the-gods-of-bipartisanship rankings.

(So which are the serious contenders for the religious equivalent of Delaware in terms of corporate affiliation? Christian Science seems a little on the nose. JW's maybe?)
posted by PMdixon at 11:59 AM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder if it's Mike Pence's religious beliefs that have kept him from allowing syringe exchange programs, which lack has led to a terrible outbreak of HIV in a southern IN county because people were sharing needles which has now led to him instituting a temporary, short-term needle exchange because of his deep compassion for people who have been trapped by this addiction. I'm hating him a lot today.
posted by rtha at 12:00 PM on March 26, 2015 [22 favorites]


Baby_Balrog, that's awesome! It always makes me super happy when churches take moral stands in favor of tolerance and love (I myself am a bonkers liberal Episcopalian -- I don't attend church often and have a sort of bizarre hodgepodge of religious beliefs which is probably par for the course).

I'm also really happy that SalesForce is making this choice so publicly and seems to be backing it up. I think it's a damn shame how we are sometimes told to look to corporations as our moral leaders but at least this one is taking the job seriously.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:01 PM on March 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Awesome. Some days you just lose heart and then you look around and see how many good, fair, decent people there are in the world.
posted by gt2 at 12:04 PM on March 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Awesome. Some days you just lose heart and then you look around and see how many good, fair, decent people there are in the world.

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."
- Fred Rogers
posted by leotrotsky at 12:06 PM on March 26, 2015 [38 favorites]


The Governor signed a bill enshrining religion-based discrimination at a "ceremony" attended by a whole bunch of monks and nuns. I mean - if you're Jewish, isn't this a bit of a scary picture?
posted by dnash at 12:07 PM on March 26, 2015


There was a rabbi in the front row. (a shanda fur di goyim)
posted by Sophie1 at 12:08 PM on March 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Since the Hobby Lobby ruling this may be constitutional depending on how the courts read it.

We've had federal and state RFRAs for, what, two decades now? I don't think any have been ruled unconstitutional (except for the part of the federal RFRA that purported to restrict the states)
posted by jpe at 12:08 PM on March 26, 2015


dnash, the fellow up front in the top hat looks like he might be an Orthodox Jew? I don't know.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:08 PM on March 26, 2015


xingcat: I believe that ExactTarget, Salesforce's email marketing company they acquired last year, is based out of Indiana. Interesting to see how they deal with that.

Yeah, Indianapolis. They've been renamed "Salesforce Marketing Cloud".

(I know because I've had to use them every fucking day for the past year and a half.)
posted by brundlefly at 12:09 PM on March 26, 2015


I'm wondering when we will see the first court case that involves a white supremacist who refused service to a black person or a jew claiming religious freedom as his pass card.

I'm waiting for the first time a Catholic refuses service to a Baptist claiming its based on his religious beliefs.
posted by happyroach at 12:10 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


dnash, the fellow up front in the top hat looks like he might be an Orthodox Jew? I don't know.

Could be, I wondered. I also thought possibly some kind of Mennonite?

I couldn't find details about all the people. But my first impression of it as a group is it looks like the Spanish Inquisition.
posted by dnash at 12:11 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I admit that I haven't read much of the FAs so I assumed the law in question actually said "We can discriminate against GLBTQ people as much as we like, if we claim religious belief as our justification," rather than "Protection of religious freedom" in general terms.

If it's cloaked as religious freedom, it's less obviously odious on the face of it, but it's also not narrowly tailored. OTOH, sexual orientation is not (yet) a protected class, so the side-effect of enabling gross bigotry against queer and trans people may not be a problem for a court. But if it enables gross bigotry against another protected class, like women or certain nationalities, that could possibly result in its being struck down.

Huh. Also, yikes. People suck.
posted by suelac at 12:11 PM on March 26, 2015


I'm wondering when we will see the first court case that involves a white supremacist who refused service to a black person or a jew claiming religious freedom as his pass card.

I'm waiting for the first time a Catholic refuses service to a Baptist claiming its based on his religious beliefs.


Those situations are covered by federal discrimination law, so they can make those claims all they want and it won't matter.
posted by jpe at 12:11 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


if you're Jewish, isn't this a bit of a scary picture?

As an atheist living in Indiana, it scares the shit out of me.
posted by Timmoy Daen at 12:12 PM on March 26, 2015 [29 favorites]


happyroach: I'm waiting for the first time a Catholic refuses service to a Baptist claiming its based on his religious beliefs.

Or a *Muslim* who refuses to serve a Jew or Christian. Imagine the outrage.
posted by brundlefly at 12:13 PM on March 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I assumed the law in question actually said "We can discriminate against GLBTQ people as much as we like, if we claim religious belief as our justification"

The law basically says: the state can't pass a law that imposes a (1) substantial burden on religious practice without (2) a compelling reason that's (3) narrowly tailored. Numbers indicate the significant elements / concepts.
posted by jpe at 12:13 PM on March 26, 2015


If Kurt Vonnegut were still alive, I think he'd be white-hot pissed off about this. He may actually come back to life out of pure rage.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 12:13 PM on March 26, 2015 [20 favorites]


so they can make those claims all they want and it won't matter

Hmm. Yeah, but if a Catholic discriminates against a Baptist and it passes under State law but violates Federal law/constitution, then Federal law wins. And the State law gets struck down as violating the Supremacy clause.

Depends on the context, of course. Best if it's some kind of public service, like a public schoolteacher refusing to teach a kid.
posted by suelac at 12:15 PM on March 26, 2015


The law is couched as "religious freedom". It's organized religions whose responsibility it is to come out most strongly to say "not in our name". Any religion that doesn't is tacitly giving consent that it is fine with them for people to be discriminated against in this fashion.
posted by newdaddy at 12:15 PM on March 26, 2015 [25 favorites]


We've had federal and state RFRAs for, what, two decades now?

Yeah, Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1993.
Texas in summer 1999, so I'm sure salesforce (founded feb 1999) will get right on pulling out of that state too.
http://www.salesforce.com/customers/stories/texas-dir.jsp
posted by stobor at 12:16 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm really not clear on how the legislative analysts at the Indiana legislature let this through without stamping "WILL NOT PASS CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW" all over it.

Well, constitutional or not, this legislation is clearly biblically based:

"And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, refuse because of thy sincere religious beliefs." Matt 5:41
posted by weston at 12:16 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


The law basically says: the state can't pass a law that imposes a (1) substantial burden on religious practice without (2) a compelling reason that's (3) narrowly tailored. Numbers indicate the significant elements / concepts.

OK, yeah, that's much the same as the federal RFRA (IIRC).

In which case, if refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple, you'd have to prove that baking a cake was a substantial burden, which could be a fairly high standard. (The Supremes have held that being forced to wait several days or leave the state to get an abortion is NOT a substantial burden, so...)
posted by suelac at 12:19 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the State law gets struck down as violating the Supremacy clause.

It's not struck down, it's just not operative. It's still in effect, even if it doesn't provide a defense in that instance.

At any rate, the statute won't be a defense to illegal discrimination. Stopping discrimination is a compelling purpose, and the means employed are narrowly tailored.
posted by jpe at 12:21 PM on March 26, 2015


Can't find out who the rabbi-looking guy is:
The governor's office declined to provide a list of everyone pictured in an official photo of the bill signing.
Cowards.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:24 PM on March 26, 2015 [30 favorites]


I've been looking around as well, benito.strauss - can't seem to find who he is.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:25 PM on March 26, 2015


The Supremes have held that being forced to wait several days or leave the state to get an abortion is NOT a substantial burden, so...

But they've also ruled that filling out a form to say you object to contraception is a substantial burden. The threshold of "substantial" is much lower for conservative Christians than it is for the rest of us.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:30 PM on March 26, 2015 [20 favorites]


OK, yeah, that's much the same as the federal RFRA (IIRC).

Yep, it's virtually word for word.
posted by jpe at 12:35 PM on March 26, 2015


But they've also ruled that filling out a form to say you object to contraception is a substantial burden.

Not yet. They remanded back to the 7th circuit to look at that more closely.
posted by jpe at 12:36 PM on March 26, 2015


I would favorite newdaddy's comment multiple times if I could. Any organized religion that doesn't come out against this law and the state sanctioned bigotry at its root deserves to be on the receiving end of it.
posted by mosk at 12:52 PM on March 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Good for Salesforce and applause for Benioff. he's not an "Indiana tech CEO" though. Salesforce is a huge Silicon Valley company and Benioff grew up in San Francisco and went to college in LA.
posted by Bwithh at 12:54 PM on March 26, 2015


Can anyone explain why there is so much outrage at this new law and not the existing religious freedom laws? Why are people boycotting one state when so many states (and the federal govt) appear to have almost identical laws? is there a difference in wording I'm missing?
posted by cyphill at 1:05 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Straw that broke the camel's back, more awareness.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:07 PM on March 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


More like conservatives found out that loopholes in RFRA more or less allow them to bring back Jim Crow-esque laws, and they have enough sympathy among federal judges (including SCOTUS) for it to happen.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:12 PM on March 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


cyphill, I think it's the sheer, brazen obviousness of what the bill is really intended for. Indiana had it's anti-gay-marriage law struck down very recently, and the legislature almost immediately rammed this thing through. It's pretty obvious that it's intended to give cover to anyone who fears they might be sued for refusing to serve an evil gayz.

I know it's illogical on the face of it, but no one has ever accused the Indiana legislature of having a grasp on logic.

And, FWIW, there was already language in the state constitution guaranteeing religious freedom. So, in that light, this bill is even more obvious as to its true intention.

It's just unnecessary, and obviously an act of pandering to religious bigots, of which Indiana has many.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:13 PM on March 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


And yes, no matter how much someone dresses it up in legalese or "religious freedom," the intentions of these laws are 100% discriminatory.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:15 PM on March 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I wish they would mandate that businesses who plan to refuse to work with same-sex marriages/gays/etc. were obliged to put up signs. If your faith demands this action, why would you hide it, and it may server to avoid awkward conversation. IF you truly believe this is right, you should not be afraid of the backlash.

Or, do you fear a picture of your business will be in a museum next to one of a "colored water fountain?"
posted by MrGuilt at 1:16 PM on March 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


I wish they would mandate that businesses who plan to refuse to work with same-sex marriages/gays/etc. were obliged to put up signs.

Sadly, I wouldn't doubt that some businesses actually will hang signs. They'll probably be couched in coded language, though. Stuff like "This is a Christ-centered business" or "Bible-based business" etc. It'll be more of a signal to other bigots that this business is also run by bigots, so it's safe to shop there.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:21 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


> I wish they would mandate that businesses who plan to refuse to work with same-sex marriages/gays/etc. were obliged to put up signs.

Say Hello to Oklahoma Democratic state Rep. Emily Virgin. (MeFi post.)
posted by benito.strauss at 1:25 PM on March 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


I've been pondering whether or not I want to start asking workers if their establishment serves/does business with GLBT people when I first walk in. Or maybe, ask if there are any categories of customers they wouldn't want to have. I would definitely like to know upfront.
posted by worldswalker at 1:25 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wish they would mandate that businesses who plan to refuse to work with same-sex marriages/gays/etc. were obliged to put up signs.

Actually, some good souls did try to do it. State Sen. Karen Tallian and State Rep. John Bartlett introduced amendments that would have (among other protections for LGBT people) required businesses to post signage saying exactly who they were discriminating against. The amendments were shot down in the Senate (10-30) and House (40-61), respectively (h/t DevilsAdvocate).

Bigots, it seems, are proud to discriminate as long as they can do so away from the prying eyes of the people.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:26 PM on March 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


I do like that some businesses are already putting up signs reading "We serve everyone". Link
posted by Ambient Echo at 1:27 PM on March 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


OTOH, sexual orientation is not (yet) a protected class

Federally, no. At the state level in Indiana, no. It is a protected class in at least a dozen Indiana cities and counties, including Indianapolis. Or, rather, it was until today.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:37 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


"This is a Christ-centered business"

There's really nothing more un-Christlike than what these people are doing. Christ did not shun or attack anyone, other than those who wanted to use religion for personal gain and were very loudly (and hypocritically) religious in public. When his opponents wanted to insult him, they said he dined with the whores and the tax collectors, two of the most reviled groups of people.

For a business to claim they are "Christ-centered" then they have to truly serve everyone. Even the ones, and especially the ones, considered the lowest by their fellow religious folk. Maybe the Jesus of the Gospels would let them get away with shunning the modern day equivalent of the Pharisees, but I think even that is a stretch.

Love your neighbor as yourself. Full stop. If they followed Christ's rule, the rest of this crap would not even come up.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:51 PM on March 26, 2015 [53 favorites]


Fuck Indiana. I wouldn't even drive through it to get away from Ohio.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:06 PM on March 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I guess the whole "Whatever you do to* the least of these, you do to me" is just one of those things you can cherry-pick away.

* or "for" - translations differ
posted by rtha at 2:08 PM on March 26, 2015


It is a protected class in at least a dozen Indiana cities and counties, including Indianapolis.

Interesting. I was thinking (like jpe) that stopping discrimination would be treated as a compelling interest. But perhaps there's fear that a state or fed court wouldn't find a local policy compelling (enough)? I wish weasel-words like "significantly" and "compelling" weren't allowed in laws.

I'm also baffled on how selling a coffee to someone who doesn't follow your very narrow, handpicked morals can count as a burden. But I guess we'll have to wait for the court cases to roll in to find out.
posted by stobor at 2:13 PM on March 26, 2015


Yer preaching to the choir, honestcoyote. That's the biggest disconnect these people have with reality. The very god (well, okay, his son) they claim to worship and follow would read them the riot act if he actually came back to Earth today. "You're doing this shit in my name??? WTF???"
posted by Thorzdad at 2:14 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


maxsparber: "The goal of this sort of legislation isn't to make law, but to placate the frothing base. They can say "We tried but it was struck down by activist judges," and they will be heroes and martyrs all at once."

It's usually not intended to pass the legislature, really, just to make political ad hay later on ... I sort-of wonder if this catastrophe happened because nobody thought it would pass and so let it go forward at every step ...

Kadin2048: "Isn't the World Church of the Creator, or whatever they're calling themselves these days, based in IL? "

Well, yes, but from the "federal maximum security prison located in Colorado" part of Illinois. It's mostly just the one guy and he's still in prison (for attempting to solicit the murder of the federal judge hearing his trademark case, obvs) and will probably die there.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:18 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, it's another reminder to Americans that state governments have extensive powers, state legislatures are comprised mostly of idiots and horrible people, states can be bought by national pressure groups and lobbyists at bargain prices, and that most voters don't know the name of their state legislators. (Indiana's state legislative districts are gerrymandered to the nth degree, sorry about that.)

I sort-of wonder if this catastrophe happened because nobody thought it would pass

That's assuming a degree of political savvy that has not been demonstrated so far. The very least we can do with bigots and idiots is take them seriously at their bigotry and idiocy.
posted by holgate at 2:22 PM on March 26, 2015 [13 favorites]


It's usually not intended to pass the legislature, really, just to make political ad hay later on ... I sort-of wonder if this catastrophe happened because nobody thought it would pass and so let it go forward at every step ...

Both houses of the Indiana legislature are overwhelmingly controlled by bright-red, teabag-leaning Republicans. This bill was a shoe-in from the start and was never in danger of not passing.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:47 PM on March 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


In jpe's enumeration, the really problematic part of RFRA's is the expansion and attenuation of religious practice in (1), with Hobby Lobby being the prime example.
posted by PMdixon at 2:57 PM on March 26, 2015


Pence: "This bill is not about discrimination"

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by JoeZydeco at 3:09 PM on March 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


Matthew Yglesias, 2008: "I can tell you this about Mike Pence: he has no idea what he’s talking about. The man is a fool, who deserves to be laughed at. He’s almost stupid enough to work in cable television."
posted by holgate at 3:39 PM on March 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am going to identify, name and shame the Orthodox rabbi in the front row of the "private" signing ceremony. I'm guessing Chabad. No Jew in their right mind can be unaware of what goes down for us with government-sanctioned bigotry.
posted by Dreidl at 3:45 PM on March 26, 2015 [23 favorites]


Although I live in Ohio, I've never been to Indiana.

It looks like I may never go there...
posted by DRoll at 3:48 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering when we will see the first court case that involves a white supremacist who refused service to a black person or a jew claiming religious freedom as his pass card.

Except it won't, because the Civil Rights Act is still federal law and would supercede this.

This is entirely about gay people, who aren't a federally-protected class. The thugs who wrote this and passed it and signed this all know it. If they are very lucky and get just the right tier of judges, they can probably use it to make not giving women birth control at a drug store legal too.

The reality is that the only true solution to this will be expanding the CRA to include sexual orientation. Or, you know, not electing assholes.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:51 PM on March 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Unfortunately, Indiana will always elect assholes.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:54 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


If there's anyone that needs the government's protection to keep them from extinction and oppression, it's Christians in Indiana.
posted by phoebus at 4:12 PM on March 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


None of the authors of the bill have their voicemail turned on. No greeting message just a message saying that you cannot leave a message. Is this normal?
posted by futz at 4:28 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


The rabbi in the official signing group photo is Yisrael Gettinger of (Non-Chabad - my incorrect asumption above) Orthodox Congregation B’nai Torah. He spoke in favor of the bill during the committee hearing phase.
Since he was honored by The Jewish Daily Forward, a *progressive* (originally Socialist worker's party) Jewish news source, in 2013, I am sending them the information for follow-up.
I wonder who Rabbi Gettinger will now enjoy legally discriminating against - or will it happen to him first? Did they need a real Jewish kapo, given Indiana probably has more "messianic jewish" pastors (six I could find online, three congregations) than actual rabbis? OK, that was hyperbole, there are more than a dozen Jewish communities across the state including school Hillels. But every other rabbi was protesting this disgusting law.

If you can't tell, I am incandescently furious not just about this particular legal license for bigotry, but that an American Jew would so openly advocate for brutal religiously-based animus.
posted by Dreidl at 4:46 PM on March 26, 2015 [60 favorites]


> I am going to identify, name and shame the Orthodox rabbi in the front row of the "private" signing ceremony.

Thank you so much, Dreidl. I've got a, um, nuanced relationship with my Judaism, but seeing that (probably) Jewish guy in the signing ceremony has left me feeling so damn gross.

> The reality is that the only true solution to this will be expanding the CRA to include sexual orientation.

Not that I oppose that, but I wish we could get rid of all the "religious freedoms" bullshit. Claiming that the right to practice ones religion means religious people don't have to follow the laws everyone else does should be laughed at. I'm not laughing.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:48 PM on March 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Heh, you posted while I was typing my comment, Dreidl. I'm feeling the same rage you are.

I know the phrase a schande vor de goyim really has more of a meaning of "don't air private dirty laundry in public", but it keeps coming back to me as applying here. You've brought such shame on us, Rabbi Gettinger.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:58 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have contacted the Forward, Joe.My.God and Towlerroad. I don't do much business with Indiana, but I am one appalled Jewish queer, and I have lots of friends in the media.
posted by Dreidl at 5:20 PM on March 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


Dreidl, not just the Rabbis, the entire Jewish community here (nonprofits, etc) was against it too.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:27 PM on March 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Had we known this was going to happen, we would've waited another week to have the Indy MeFi meetup. We probably would have had a much larger turnout just to collectively vent over this atrocity.

We also might have made history as the first meetup evicted and banned from a bar.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:31 PM on March 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Give me the old fashioned fifties Republican party back - the ones who really cared only about the money.

I have a hard time believing that even a teahadist Republican would sign legislation that is so transparently bad for business without having some kind of financial ace in the hole, though. I guess maybe sometimes it really is about power more than money.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 5:38 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is how committed I am to giving a fuck this time: I called Ameristar East Chicago and told the nice lady that I would have to be keeping my gaming dollars in IL now. ("They did what now." "Well I didn't even vote for him.")

Just to be clear: You can't smoke in IL casinos. This would really be a sacrifice if I indulged that particular dopamine rush more than twice a year. Gambling without smoking is like non-alcoholic beer. =(
posted by PMdixon at 5:53 PM on March 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


That signing photo also reminds me of the nuns who were disenfranchised by Indiana's shitty Voter ID law in 2008. [sigh]
posted by holgate at 6:03 PM on March 26, 2015


Georgia's version of the bill has just stalled in committee because, I shit you not, an amendment was successfully passes clarifying that the bill does not allow discriminating against gays:
In a presentation to the full committee, which could vote later this afternoon on whether to move the bill, author Josh McKoon, a Republican state senator from Columbus, said that adding a non-discrimination clause would gut his bill.

“That amendment would completely undercut the purpose of the bill,” McKoon said.
McKoon's grandchildren will read that one day.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:11 PM on March 26, 2015 [38 favorites]


At least McKoon is honest about it, unlike the cowards here in Indiana.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:30 PM on March 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


So, my best friend lives in Indiana. (Don't hate her, she's as pissed off as everyone else; her Facebook right now is a solid wall of anger about this.) My wife and I scheduled to get visit Bestie and her family over Memorial Day. I guess we get to go digging through Open for Service, once it has data, and figure out who's getting our dollars that weekend.

(Y'all, we'll be having our legal wedding anniversary that weekend. I'm just... why don't I have any whisky in this house, dammit.)
posted by joycehealy at 6:55 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's nothing unconstitutional about this law. Sexual orientation is not a protected class, and the law itself is not much different than the federal government's own religious bigotry freedom law. SCOTUS used that law in the Hobby Lobby decision to allow pretty much any company to ignore pretty much any regulation under the guise of "sincerely held religious belief."

1. We don't know yet how much, if any, precedent Hobby Lobby has created.

2. My understanding of the difference in this legislation is that the government doesn't need to be a party to the suit, as is the case under other RFRAs.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:56 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


holgate: "The very least we can do with bigots and idiots is take them seriously at their bigotry and idiocy."

Oh, I take them seriously. I've lived in Indiana; I know its good points and it's HOLY CRAP PROBLEMATIC points, particularly around bigotry (hello giant KKK membership still; hello sundown towns within my parents' memories). It's reprehensible to introduce bigoted bills just to be able to crow about having done so (and it's pretty fucking irritating to waste taxpayer money and lawmaker time by introducing bills you don't intend to pass) ... I just sort-of wondered if the statehouse leadership was expecting this to go down in committee ... or on the floor ... or in the governor's office, without them having to directly scuttle it. There have to be at least a few people there (and on their staffs) who know this is going to be a nightmare lawsuit magnet and draw massive negative commentary nationally. I'm just sort-of curious about the more Chamber-of-Commerce-type Republicans who got on board, and whether they were secretly like "Well this is a terrible law but surely Mike Pence will never sign it, it's so bad for business, so I don't have to stand up against it, I can take the PR boost from local bigots without having to oppose it myself, but not really worry about it becoming law ..." Sometimes those sorts of games of chicken end in these sorts of incomprehensibly backwards laws. Also the reaction of the Indy mayor made me think he was at least a little surprised it was signed; I would have expected a lot of behind-the-scenes pressure on the governor from various big-city mayors, and colleges, and corporations, to NOT sign it.

I don't know, just kind-of inside-baseball curiosity.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:12 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


It makes me want to tear my own eyeballs out when they just LIE like that. Oh golly gosh, it has nothing to do with gays and lesbians, nope nope nope.

Like those of us who live here didn't get the @)#(*@()#*@ robocalls about how gays and lesbians were going to force Christians to violate their faith if not for SB101!
posted by headspace at 7:26 PM on March 26, 2015


The Satanic Temple is Suing Franklin County, Indiana. They want to erect a public display, with a religious message.

If they won't stop the silliness on reasonable or ethical grounds, maybe they will cut the shit because Satan?
posted by idiopath at 7:34 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Still not finding that part of the Bible where it says 'thou shalt not bake a cake for gay dudes'. Maybe my Bible is on the fritz?
posted by newdaddy at 7:34 PM on March 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Point taken, but across many state legislatures, moderates have been dumped out in primaries or moved on to federal elected positions. More pragmatic leaders have been squeezed out (or promoted to federal office) and replaced by loons. Local Chamber of Commerce small-c conservative money and influence doesn't count as much as the giant slushfund of post-Citizens United money. And Mike Pence is a complete dipshit who has shown throughout his political career that he has no understanding of consequences.

All of these RFRA bills are copypasta: there was one introduced the other day by a couple of maroons in the NC House. Normally copypasta state bills are sent as PDF attachments and written by wingnut welfare recipients in DC lobbying shops, but this time the federal act forms the template (given its use in Hobby Lobby) and the DC puppetmasters are sending out state-ready versions.

Power is its own anaesthetic, and the hard-right idiots in state legislatures across the US who got elected in 2010 and then redrew their own districts to lock in their jobs for a decade. To them, the reaction vindicates their righteousness. They don't fear for their jobs, because maybe 10% of voters (tops) know who they even are, and enough voters will show up to relect them by party line.
posted by holgate at 7:35 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is a great response from a corporation. I hope I live long enough to see this sort of response against the unfair tax regulations they themselves benefit from...

But this Religious Freedom nonsense is yet another prime example of the unfathomable divisiveness that this group of people, whomever they are, are embracing in great numbers. The ignorance, bigotry, paranoia, and frankly outright insanity is astounding. I know it's all been there for decades but growing up I had the impression that such things were fading into the past if not gone already. The opposite is true. You really can't Godwin this shit.

It's terrifying.
posted by juiceCake at 7:41 PM on March 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


People have asked why Salesforce is making a big deal about Indiana when several other states have already passed a similar law.

There's a great comment in ArsTechnica:

The Sam, Moderator
I'm a life-long resident of Indianapolis, a long-time Gen Con attendee and an employee of Salesforce's Indianapolis operations. I've also been a proponent of equality in this state for as long as I've been aware of the issue. So obviously this story hits close to home.

I can't get super into detail, but we've been assured that our jobs aren't in jeopardy. But Indianapolis isn't just a city with which Salesforce might or might not do business. With their acquisition of ExactTarget, Indianapolis became a HEADQUARTERS city for them. Outside of their main HQ in San Fransisco, their Indy offices are the largest in the country. They had big plans for this city, and those are all now on hold because of SB101.

It won't mean the loss of my job, but it may mean a severe reduction in my career opportunities within the company (at least if I want to stay in Indianapolis, which I do). But I still support Benioff, and the folks at Gen Con.

posted by eye of newt at 8:06 PM on March 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is a great response from a corporation. I hope I live long enough to see this sort of response against the unfair tax regulations they themselves benefit from...

Yeah well, just wait till Carl Icahn or Pershing Square have some time to really digest what an obligation to maximize shareholder value looks like in a post-Hobby Lobby world.

The emotive, verging-on-symbolic-but-if-we-can-stick-it-to-the-queers-why-not angle is ugly and awful but ultimately self defeating. Wait till somebody figures out exactly how to make a buck off of it. (I mean besides the usual right wing scam cloud. These people are blowing holes in the regulatory state big enough to drive a multinational through.)
posted by PMdixon at 8:15 PM on March 26, 2015


Give me the old fashioned fifties Republican party back - the ones who really cared only about the money.

The old-fashioned Republican party of Joe McCarthy was not a party that cared only about the money.
posted by blucevalo at 8:58 PM on March 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


One of my closest friends lives in Indiana and has to stay closeted at work already. This is really adding a lot of stress to his plate.

For myself I travel nationally for my job and am not psyched about having to deal with this in Indiana or wherever else it passes.
posted by bile and syntax at 11:08 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Although I live in Ohio, I've never been to Indiana.

It looks like I may never go there...


I was pestering the husband to make a trip to Indy to play Ingress. Nope, not gonna happen. Not gonna cry about Shipshewana, either. If I want Amish craftwork, butter and such, we have plenty of the Plain Folk here in Ohio to give our money to.
posted by MissySedai at 11:38 PM on March 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


the first court case that involves a white supremacist who refused service to a black person or a jew claiming religious freedom as his pass card.

More amusing to watch would be:

1) Form religion opposed to people employed by government (my guess is this exists now) or some other 'this is how you get your money' classification. Banking, wall street - any group that can buy laws/law enforcement.

2) Use facial recognition and 'public records' like social media to identify the above group. (Just accepting credit cards and cross-checking the name allows for all kinds of interactions like the computer prompting the worker to give better customer service so I'm shocked this hasn't been part of big data sales lit thus far.)

3) Shun the above at, say, a farmers market where the barrier to entry is low. For an 'art project', 'pubic protest', whatever ya wanna call it the $50k+ retail buildout is expensive.

4) Watch self-important people have meltdowns over not being able to get something with their credit cards. And with the items in question being under $20 gaining jurisdiction becomes that "5 payments of $19.95" you see in advertising.

Leverage the surveillance society in this manner. I expect the 1st pubic go-round of video/database interaction to be with "spot the fed" at blackhat as a demonstration of where the tech is at.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:43 AM on March 27, 2015


legislative analysts at the Indiana legislature let this through without stamping "WILL NOT PASS CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW"

Because there is no accountability for the elected reps doing this beyond 'you can be voted out'.

Pubic officials are rarely held to any kind of meaningful accountability when they fail at their jobs and others suffer harm.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:46 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


they already have a contract keeping them in Indianapolis for another five years, and have stated they have no plans to break that contract.

And somewhere on the Internet is (or will be) a blog post that'll cite the caselaw to allow the breaking of the contract.

Lawyers put on seminars about how to break contracts. The limiting factor would be the $ to do it.

If gen-con puts up a crowd-funded "pay for the lawyers to break the contract/pay the fines" the resulting post on The Blue which features links to the fundy-hating-Gen-Con-because-they-are-genuine-live-Satanists plus vine's of elected reps saying the same might be enough publicity to create a successful "pay my legal bills" fundraiser as most of 'em don't make their goals.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:13 AM on March 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, my wife's Facebook feed (which includes a ton of her friends from her church and other similarly-minded folks) was blowing-up last night over this new law. Overwhelmingly, everyone was railing against it. To be honest, I was surprised, given my encounters with many of them over the years*. But, good on them for seeing the bill for what it is.

Sadly, I noticed last night a couple of the Indy tv news broadcasts were going with the Pence spin on this bill. It was disappointing, but not unexpected.

* Like the woman who, when my daughter told her she played on her high school softball team, asked "There are a lot of lesbians in softball, aren't there?" I kid you not.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:50 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


As this Lawyers, Guns & Money thread points out, a huge difference between the federal so-called "RFRA" and this piece of whaledreck -- which everyone in the Indiana legislature knew was a shoo-in to pass -- is that it applies in suits against private individuals where the government is not involved.

There's no way GenCon is moving its convention this year, and one of the complications is that other possible location -- Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois, for example -- already have such laws, because yeah, I'm sure they could break the 2020 contract if they decided they needed to. (Apart from crowdfunding, I'm sure they could negotiate favorable terms from wherever they'd take their $50 million in business to.)

But the CEO posted a letter yesterday essentially asking attendees to sound off if any yahoo gives them trouble, and I have no doubt such feedback will play a heavy role in any decision they make.

Which makes me wonder -- I have no doubt that downtown businesses will tell their employees to mind their Ps and Qs when the gamers arrive, but I wonder if being forced by their employer to serve someone dressed as a wizard when that's against their religion might not become one of the first RFRA suits?
posted by Gelatin at 5:41 AM on March 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


...but I wonder if being forced by their employer to serve someone dressed as a wizard when that's against their religion might not become one of the first RFRA suits?

Wow. I hadn't even considered that, Gelatin. Such a suit would really open a can of worms, even beyond the RFRA. It would get into the rights of employees v. employers in a right-to-work state, as well.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:47 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's the text of that GenCon letter (PDF) I mentioned.
posted by Gelatin at 5:59 AM on March 27, 2015


Author of Religious Freedom bill frustrated by backlash

(cue tiny violins...)
State Senator Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) co-authored Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, written to protect those who make decisions based on religious beliefs.

He is pleased Governor Pence signed it into law Thursday morning. But he said he is disappointed in the negative public backlash.

“I think it’s uncalled for, unnecessary, and I think they’ve been misinformed and they’re not really looking at what the bill really says,” Kruse said.

Opponents to the legislation believe it will open the door for discrimination. Many organizations have threatened to leave Indiana because of the bill.

“It will not hurt any of them, it will not affect any of them,” Kruse said.

That’s because he said the scope of this bill doesn’t include matters between private parties.

“The bill only pertains to a government entity and a private party,” he said.


IANAL, but the folks at LG&M I linked upthread said that the clause
Provides that a person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a state or local government action may assert the burden as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the state or a political subdivision of the state is a party to the judicial proceeding.


"...clearly authorizes RFRA claims in suits between private parties, and the federal RFRA does not."

As disgusting as laws like these are, I'm comforted by the fact that they's obviously rearguard actions by a group that knows it's losing cultural relevance.

And I've always been comforted by considering the outright lies told in support of so many Republican policies as a tacit admission that there really isn't an honest case to be made in favor of them.
posted by Gelatin at 6:07 AM on March 27, 2015


My nephew came out a few years ago, and is a proud Notre Dame alum. So what happens when he goes back for games and events? Does he have to look out for "no gays" signs? Be afraid to hold hands if he's with someone?

What bullshit.
posted by emjaybee at 7:14 AM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


The rabbi in the official signing group photo is Yisrael Gettinger of (Non-Chabad - my incorrect asumption above) Orthodox Congregation B’nai Torah. He spoke in favor of the bill during the committee hearing phase.

Nice detective work, thank you! I will also email the Forward. The Jewish Post & Opinion is based in Indianapolis, but a quick review of their last three issues shows they don't seem to cover local politics.
posted by zarq at 7:26 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Orthodox Judaism has traditionally been pretty homophobic, although most of their rabbis say homosexual acts are prohibited, and gay people should be treated respectfully. In practice it's a distinction that's basically meaningless, as many of their congregations shun gay and lesbian people using the worst, most disgusting stereotypes imaginable -- equating homosexuality to pedophilia, pushing "gay cures", etc. As with all things related to Judaism, there are levels of belief and different opinions on the subject in Orthodoxy. Some Modern Orthodox Jews (and rabbis and congregations) are not homophobic. But more "traditional" groups like Chabad, the Hareidi, etc., overwhelmingly are.

In my experience, the more insular and isolated the Orthodox community, the more bigoted they are towards non-heterosexuals. See the documentary "Trembling before G-d" for more info.

According to its website, Rabbi Yisrael Gettinger runs the largest Orthodox synagogue in Indiana. Jews make up 1% of the religious population in the state -- approximately 17,000 people. And that khnyok has thrown his black hat in with the bigots. Shameful.
posted by zarq at 7:49 AM on March 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, man. They won't, but Notre Dame could test-case the hell out of this. Huge private Catholic university with a highly diverse admissions pool? They could probably kill this on their own (but they won't.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:08 AM on March 27, 2015


So what happens when he goes back for games and events? Does he have to look out for "no gays" signs?

Well, according to this law, a business owner is entirely in their rights to do so. This is Gay Jim Crow.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:08 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Re: Rabbi Gettinger

I have contacted The Forward, False Messiah, Joe.My.God and Towlerroad, and Agudath Israel and Union of Orthodox Rabbis. I'll try to get to Right Wing Watch, The Southerm Poverty Law Center and some Jewish social justice groups today before I go offline for Shabbat. I provided links to news featuring Gettinger and publicly accessible photos of him and written statements from his synagogue website. I have not searched past news or social media but I would like to trawl in more depth (wow, a consistent metaphor!) for his recent interactions with politicians and rightwing forces. I do NOT want to smear him, invade his privacy or in any way activate anti-Semitism. I do want to hold him (and his relevant associates) *publicly* responsible for their support and enhancement of bigotry. Again, harassing him is not acceptable, any more than legal "religious freedom" to harass is.

Creating and intensifying human suffering is against the most basic Jewish values. His enabling of further immiseration and unnecessary interfaith conflict is explicitly forbidden at every level of Jewish text and tradition, which as an Orthodox Jewish communal leader he claims to follow to the highest degree. With every other Jewish organization I could track in Indiana fighting (or at least not openly supporting) this legal bigotry, Gettinger needs to be held publicly accountable for the harms he is helping create.

Hopefully other knowledgeable people have started to identify the other religious and political folks in the signing event photo and the bill creation process, and document/publicize their roles in creating this noxious copycat legislation.
posted by Dreidl at 8:09 AM on March 27, 2015 [16 favorites]


Also, Gettinger is a bit-part player, at most, in this farrago of hateful legalizing. This crap legislation type is primarily a reactionary christian thing, with a few other denomination leaders tacked on for PR. We need to be going after the major political and *christian* forces behind this and other "religious freedom" discrimination laws. I only ID'd Gettinger because I have the inside-the-Jewish-community info to do so quickly, and hopefully accurately.

Please - do your part to find the main proponents of this vile law and hold every one of them publicly accountable for their shameful acts.
posted by Dreidl at 8:23 AM on March 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


In paragraph 2148, the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines blasphemy as being directly opposed to the second commandment, the one against taking God's name in vain. One example given is misusing God’s name. Whenever someone's right to discriminate is asserted as a "religious freedom", I think about the day I learned that commandment is not just against swear words and curses.
posted by soelo at 8:49 AM on March 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


zarq, thanks for teaching me the word khnyok. That article alone is almost worthy of an FPP.

dreidl, thanks for all your effort.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:16 AM on March 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


You're very welcome, benito. And dreidl, THANK YOU.
posted by zarq at 9:42 AM on March 27, 2015


On the plus side, this makes AZ look reasonable by comparison. Uhhh... thanks Indiana?
posted by ph00dz at 10:02 AM on March 27, 2015


On the plus side, this makes AZ look reasonable by comparison. Uhhh... thanks Indiana?

Well...
posted by Timmoy Daen at 10:15 AM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why, why, can't passing a basic highschool test on the Constitution be mandatory before seeking public office?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:17 AM on March 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm waiting for the first time a Catholic refuses service to a Baptist claiming its based on his religious beliefs.

If someone will give me the starter money, I'll happily open a restaurant in Indianapolis that kicks out anyone caught praying before a meal, since public prayer directly contradicts the words of Jesus. With this new bill surely I won't have to allow such blatant sin in my establishment.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:44 AM on March 27, 2015 [18 favorites]


Why, why, can't passing a basic highschool test on the Constitution be mandatory before seeking public office?

Better yet, if we made sociopaths electorally ineligible that would clear out most of Congress and every state legislature.
posted by zarq at 10:47 AM on March 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Is there a way to set up a Kickstarter for a legal challenge to this law? How could that work?
posted by newdaddy at 10:51 AM on March 27, 2015


Yeah, get 'em back in private sector executive positions where they belong!

Er .... wait a minute, I need to think this through a bit more .... I'll get back to you.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:51 AM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there a way to set up a Kickstarter for a legal challenge to this law? How could that work?

I am no lawyer, but given that the Supreme Court basically affirmed the Federal so-called "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" in its infamous Hobby Lobby decision -- which held that corporations could exercise religion -- I doubt such a challenge would go anywhere.

As I alluded to above, I expect a better strategy might be for our side to benefit from the unintended consequences of this law for a change. That, and for Democrats to work harder to elect more governors and state representatives, especially in 2020.
posted by Gelatin at 10:57 AM on March 27, 2015


My understanding (someone correct me if I'm wrong) is that nobody has standing to sue over a law unless and until that law has affected them adversely. So we're going to need a queer person/couple getting refused service only because they're queer, with no ability for the business owner to rationalize/explain their way out of it. At a wild guess, a useful tactic would be:

"Hi I need to order a wedding cake. It'll be on the 20th of July.. yes let's do a tasting. Oh, sorry no my better half couldn't make it today I'll just be tasting it myself. Here's your money." (next day) "We've decided that we want the cake to read 'Congratulations Alice and Mary on your wedding day.'" Then when the business refuses, you have grounds to sue. I think?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:59 AM on March 27, 2015


Gen Con will stay: Business response to 'religious freedom' law softens Gen Con's fears
--
The NCAA issued a statement.
--
"A year after potential action by the National Football League hung over Arizona's veto of a religious freedom bill, an NFL spokesman said Friday the league is "studying" Indiana's religious freedom law."
--
George Takei calls for a boycott of Indiana.
--
Melissa McEwan at Shakesville is pleading with people not to boycott.
posted by zarq at 11:34 AM on March 27, 2015


Text of the bill.
posted by zarq at 11:42 AM on March 27, 2015




If someone will give me the starter money, I'll happily open a restaurant in Indianapolis that kicks out anyone caught praying before a meal, since public prayer directly contradicts the words of Jesus. With this new bill surely I won't have to allow such blatant sin in my establishment.

Pater, I am unreasonably excited by your proposal. If I had stupid amounts of money, I would fund it immediately. I'm trying to decide what kind of restaurant, though. Mexican? Italian? Hipster tacos?
posted by emjaybee at 12:05 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


It would be a brunch place. Obviously.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:08 PM on March 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


Here's the NC copypasta bill. Funny how the laboratories of democracy all end up with the exact same research projects.

Almost as if they'd be better off with a single federal law that applies across all the states, or if there was disagreement, having a bunch of states merge into a single nation they could call Bigotria.
posted by holgate at 12:11 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Funny how the laboratories of democracy all end up with the exact same research projects.

It's called ALEC.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:17 PM on March 27, 2015 [10 favorites]




Gelatin: "There's no way GenCon is moving its convention this year, and one of the complications is that other possible location -- Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois, for example -- already have such laws"

The big difference between Illinois and Indiana on RFRA is that Illinois added sexual orientation and gender identity to the state civil rights statute (CRA), so those are protected classes under the law that may not be discriminated against by businesses -- essentially rendering RFRA toothless in Illinois. I made a quick, informal survey of Illinois lawyers and politicians of my acquaintance, and nobody could think of an actual RFRA case in Illinois offhand (I couldn't either), and while a few of them grumbled about its constitutionality or lack thereof, none of them could imagine quite exactly how one might use it, since basically everyone you'd want to discriminate against is protected by the IL CRA. One guy said he thought there might have been an appeal to the IL RFRA by some people trying to build a mosque and blocked by zoning regulations, but it didn't go to court; another said he thought homeschoolers might invoke it when bickering with the state, but he wasn't sure if correctly or insanely.

I am sure there are legal strategists already at work in Indiana (contact Lambda Legal and ask them if they know who to get in touch with), but I would suspect the easiest "fix" to this problem in Indiana is updating the state civil rights statute rather than repeal.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:47 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just using my tech and PR skills for good. You all help me know where to look!

Ugh, I just found out via failedmessiah.com that Gettinger founded and is still in governance of the local all-male jr/sr high school yeshivah... Where Gettinger appears to have covered up ongoing sexual abuse by a staff rabbi. Problem seems to have surfaced in 2011. So, Gettinger's history is: queerness is ok if it's on the downlow and/or one of the partners is unwilling and underage, but not if they're public and consenting adults?!

Yes, I've studied the halakhic ambiguities of permissible sexual contact, following local secular law, and when interacting with the secular authorities over Jew's secularly illegal acts is allowed. Gettinger's external moralizing and internal-to-the-Jewish community permissiveness isn't going to be consequence-free any more.
posted by Dreidl at 3:26 PM on March 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


Better yet, if we made sociopaths electorally ineligible that would clear out most of Congress and every state legislature.

Indeed. I applaud the effort in recent years (compared to years previous) to expand care and access to the mentally ill and mentally insane. One of my relatives (about in his mid 60s now) never developmentally got past about 4 years old. I remember as kid watching him cheat at games like Battleship but I knew about his condition and just let it happen. My father said where they kept him when he was very young was a horror show but now he actually works at toothpaste factory and has his own place (in a supervised facility of course). But still, you wouldn't want him to run for government in a sensible world. It's just the way it is. He's not capable and never will be.

But what's happened in the States seems to be granting sociopaths a hell of a lot of power (the whole free market business is God mentality no doubt is a factor). History has shown us, repeatedly, what happens when sociopaths run a country. It's not like they already don't but the legislation of intolerance is horrible to see.

It makes no sense. Divisibility. Hatred. Bigotry. Ignorance. Fear. Celebrated and embraced openly while compassion and actual real hard work (i.e. let's do things right for a fucking change) are ridiculed. The States as a society get's a gold star for treating sociopaths and selfish, subversive assholes too well, and get's no star at all for the way it treats the poor, minorities, drug addiction, mentally ill (unless your a right wing sociopath), etc., and on and on.

Of course there are many people who treat others with a tremendous amount of compassion and fairly, but this sort of shit, actually happening, is, as I mentioned, absolutely terrifying.
posted by juiceCake at 3:31 PM on March 27, 2015


The Rabbinical Assembly tweeted to me that they didn't recognize Rabbi Gettinger. That's a little hard to believe as the rabbi of the largest orthodox congregation in Indiana. I've tweeted them, the Forward and Denise Eger the new (lesbian) head of the reform rabbis assembly.
posted by Sophie1 at 4:04 PM on March 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


"There's no way GenCon is moving its convention this year, and one of the complications is that other possible location -- Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois, for example -- already have such laws"

No. No, we do NOT. That bullshit bill has been "indefinitely postponed". IOW, it has been DOA for two years.

We ain't perfect, but can we please not be unjustly maligned?
posted by MissySedai at 6:49 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


The RA doesn't recognize, nor do they have any influence over, Gettinger; RA is Conservative/Masorti, just as Reform, Reconstructionism and Renewal have their own clergy associations. That was why I contacted OU and Agudath Yisrael, associations covering most, but not all, non-Chabad and non-Satmar Ashkenaz Orthodox rabbis in North America.
Jewish decentralization makes it difficult to affect the actions of leadership across denominations. From the OU's and AI's perspective, Gettinger is doing his job just fine.
posted by Dreidl at 12:35 AM on March 28, 2015


Go grandma! (NSFW language in image)
"@Bipartisanism: This grandma has a message for Indiana lawmakers. #BoycottIndiana pic.twitter.com/cLOq6Rj0mw"— MissR*EVOLutionaries (@MissREVO) March 28, 2015
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:30 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


There are about 1700 people friending Indiana Tourism's Visit Indiana Facebook site... and yesterday, there were about 100 people friending Boycott Indiana, though I suspect things will change, soon enough.
posted by markkraft at 8:39 AM on March 28, 2015


Apropos of something something, here's Kinky Friedman doing his good old emotionally sensitive interpretive ballad, "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to You." (NSFW: Offensive language).
posted by spitbull at 12:43 PM on March 28, 2015




Gov. Mike Pence, scorched by a fast-spreading political firestorm, told The Star on Saturday that he will support the introduction of legislation to “clarify” that Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not promote discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Pence is really trying to have his cake and eat it too.

I grew up in Indiana but haven't lived there in almost 20 years. It's heartening to see how much my (certainly self-selecting) facebook friends who still live there are ashamed and angry. 20 years ago this would've passed with nothing more than an angry overly-long NUVO article to protest. It makes such a difference that the large national business with Indiana operations (Cummins and Exact Target/Salesforce most of all) have been so swift and strong in their denunciation. And the NCAA? Reggie Miller? There would have been no mainstream opposition to a bill like this when I lived in Indiana.

I'm a little less likely to go back for CircleCityCon this year. The only way my kids will see their grandmother is if we drive there this summer, so that's probably still on. If nothing else, I know from the coverage around this event that I could only patronize businesses while in Indiana that have made public statements against the law.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:47 PM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pence tries to compare Indiana's RFRA to Illinois's — but rejects making sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes in Indiana, like they are in Illinois.

Also unclear exactly how he's going to try to "clarify" the legislation, since several "clarifying" amendments to the RFRA were proposed and rejected during the legislative process.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:27 PM on March 28, 2015


Oh, I talked to more lawyers last night and today (my social life is so boring!) and we've come up with a thing Illinois's RFRA might be for. Religious organizations are generally allowed to discriminate when hiring people for ministerial or teaching positions, as those are core functions of religion (so like a big Catholic hospital could hire only Catholic chaplains if it wanted, but can't discriminate w/r/r doctors). In some close cases involving wrongful termination of borderline-churchy roles like church secretary or high school teacher but not of catechetics, we think it might tilt the field a bit more to the religious institution being able to use religion as a criterion for hiring and maybe firing. Maybe. We also thought maybe zoning fights.

But that's some quality back-peddlin' skills on Mike Pence there.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:20 PM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Salesforce is not usually the part of my life that fills me with pride, but right now I'm going to celebrate Mark Benioff and take special pleasure messing with the data quality of my organization's instance of Salesforce. Thank you, Salesforce.

Meanwhile, for Hoosier businesses, a sign for the window by the front door during the apocalypse boycott.
posted by mississippi at 5:34 AM on March 29, 2015


In some close cases involving wrongful termination of borderline-churchy roles like church secretary or high school teacher but not of catechetics, we think it might tilt the field a bit more to the religious institution being able to use religion as a criterion for hiring and maybe firing.

I can't see how that would work -- religious employment discrimination is still covered by the federal Civil Rights Act, so the only circumstances this could work in should be for jobs where the federal CRA said religious discrimination was okay but state law or cases had previously made or ruled it illegal.

It isn't hard to figure out which laws were for what by looking at what they were responding to.

The federal law and early state laws were a response to Smith, where the Supreme Court (correctly) ruled that it was fine to apply Oregon's general ban on peyote to Natives who used it for religious purposes, and to Boerne where the Supreme Court ruled that the federal RFRA couldn't bind state governments.

So: laws passed shortly after Smith (1993) or Boerne (1997): probably sincere attempts to keep the protection of free-exercise wider than the Supreme Court (or basic principles going back to Locke) would have. Most of the state RFRAs actually fit here. CT, RI, IL, FL, AL, AZ, SC, TX, ID, NM, OK.

PA and MO, the two between 2000 and 2004: actually hard to say.

SAfter 2004, when MA unleashed the horror of same-sex marriage upon the world: Because homophobia. VA, UT, TN, LA, KY, KS, MS, IN.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:17 AM on March 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Apple's Tim Cook joins the pile-on.
posted by alms at 6:46 AM on March 30, 2015




Three of the people in the signing photo have been identified as anti-gay activists.

Micah Clark "Used biblical passage about it being "better to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown in the sea" in reference to the Boy Scouts accepting gay youth: "What did Christ say about harming the least of these? He said it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown in the sea on the day of judgement than to cause a child to stumble into sin."

Curt Smith "...I believe homosexuality is harmful to all, including society, and is against the teachings of the God of the Bible..."

Eric MIller "Distributed fear flier falsely claiming that pastors could be jailed for preaching against homosexuality once same-sex marriage passes"

If this bill "isn't about allowing discrimination" then why are these the people who were invited to stand right behind the governor when he signed it?
posted by dnash at 7:50 AM on March 30, 2015 [12 favorites]




Garrett Epps: What Makes Indiana's Religious-Freedom Law Different?
[T]he Indiana statute has two features the federal RFRA—and most state RFRAs—do not. First, the Indiana law explicitly allows any for-profit business to assert a right to “the free exercise of religion.” The federal RFRA doesn’t contain such language, and neither does any of the state RFRAs except South Carolina’s; in fact, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, explicitly exclude for-profit businesses from the protection of their RFRAs.

The new Indiana statute also contains this odd language: “A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.” (My italics.) Neither the federal RFRA, nor 18 of the 19 state statutes cited by the Post, says anything like this; only the Texas RFRA, passed in 1999, contains similar language.

What these words mean is, first, that the Indiana statute explicitly recognizes that a for-profit corporation has “free exercise” rights matching those of individuals or churches. A lot of legal thinkers thought that idea was outlandish until last year’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, in which the Court’s five conservatives interpreted the federal RFRA to give some corporate employers a religious veto over their employees’ statutory right to contraceptive coverage.

Second, the Indiana statute explicitly makes a business’s “free exercise” right a defense against a private lawsuit by another person, rather than simply against actions brought by government. Why does this matter? Well, there’s a lot of evidence that the new wave of “religious freedom” legislation was impelled, at least in part, by a panic over a New Mexico state-court decision, Elane Photography v. Willock. In that case, a same-sex couple sued a professional photography studio that refused to photograph the couple’s wedding. New Mexico law bars discrimination in “public accommodations” on the basis of sexual orientation. The studio said that New Mexico’s RFRA nonetheless barred the suit; but the state’s Supreme Court held that the RFRA did not apply “because the government is not a party.”
posted by zombieflanders at 9:53 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also:

Ed Kilgore: Pence Looks For Cover
So Indiana is trying to create a genuinely plenary zone of sanctioned discrimination, including every kind of entity and protecting discriminators from legal action from any direction. The first point carries it beyond SCOTUS interpretation of the federal RFRA in the Hobby Lobby case as covering “closely held” corporations, but not all for-profits. And the second means Indiana isn’t just protecting religious folk against the all-powerful government, but against the very targets of their discrimination.

If Pence was more adept as a communicator, he might have tried the “grand bargain” defense: “religious liberty” protections are in effect a surrender by cultural conservatives who will stop trying to ban things they don’t like in exchange for an assurance they can quietly live their lives according to their faith. But Indiana’s example is actually blowing up that argument as well. The more they talk about it, advocates of broad-based “religious liberty” laws sound like those conservatives back in the day who offered to accept the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if the public accommodations section was removed. That was, in fact, the position of the 1964 Republican nominee for president, Barry Goldwater, and that’s largely why he became the first Republican since Reconstruction to carry the Deep South, even as he lost catastrophically just about everywhere else.
Kevin Drum: Sorry Mike, Indiana Is Neither Kind Nor Welcoming to Gays Anymore
Hoosiers may indeed be the kindest and most welcoming folks in the country, but that cuts no ice in court. In court, any business can claim that it's being discriminated against if it's forced to sell its services to a gay couple, and thanks to specific language in the Indiana statute, no court can throw out the claim on the grounds that a business is a public accommodation.

That's different from other RFRAs, and it's neither especially kind nor welcoming. Indiana has taken anti-gay hostility to a new and higher level, and Pence and his legislature deserve all the flack they're getting for it. They should be ashamed of themselves.

On the other hand, if you're thinking of running for president, I guess it's a great entry in the base-pandering, more-conservative-than-thou sweepstakes. So at least Pence now has that going for him.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:54 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


No, we do NOT. That [Ohio] bill has been "indefinitely postponed". IOW, it has been DOA for two years.

Sorry, I stand corrected.
posted by Gelatin at 10:11 AM on March 30, 2015


Melissa McEwan: Indiana Needs Investment, Not Abandonment From Tech Leaders
The little blue corner of the state where I live is progressive, but it is also poor as hell. And our state capitol treats us like an ATM, draining what little resources we’ve got. Our roads have been privatized. We pay higher tolls to a private corporation so the state can rake in money on a private lease, and we see none of it. Our roads are littered with potholes. Our utility infrastructure is shit. There are few jobs offering a livable wage, and no public transport to get to them. Our unions are being busted. Our public education system is being destroyed. We are progressives, but our state government steals from us.

The idea that we need more pressure in order to be moved to do something is absurd. People on the precipice don’t have the luxury of principled resistance. We are too busy trying to survive.

What you need to understand about Indiana is that the state government doesn’t give a fuck about the people of the state. If you don’t, either, you’re on their side. Not ours.

The truth is, progressives with resources have been boycotting Indiana for decades. That’s actually why we’re in this situation. If you want to know what a boycott would really look like, what result institutional neglect will really have, this is it. This legislation—it’s the result of Indiana having been de facto boycotted for years, written off as a place unworthy of investment by people who could help.

posted by zarq at 11:37 AM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


“religious liberty” protections are in effect a surrender by cultural conservatives who will stop trying to ban things they don’t like in exchange for an assurance they can quietly live their lives according to their faith.

It is odd if you glance at the gospels to think that religious conservatives are fighting over the "right not to be icked out by people different from you"; that said, there is a traditional American approach for those who consider certain interactions burdensome, which is to go off and live in entirely separate communities, and use intermediaries for dealing with the world at large.

I understand McEwan's argument, but her alternative doesn't really follow. Tech investment in NC didn't stop the state from being bought by Art Pope; VW wanting to bring tens of thousands of jobs to Tennessee doesn't stop state legislators from treating a German-style works council as Evil Union Doom. There are states that are run by shitweasels, will be continue being run by shitweasels for the foreseeable future, and no amount of soft power will dislodge the shitweasels, because there is no way to pour millions of dollars of investment into a state with a little label saying "done to spite Mike Pence and his band of idiots, do not credit them for this at the next election."
posted by holgate at 1:10 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Supporting Indiana-based social service organizations, or local progressive organizations seems like the best compromise to me.
posted by zarq at 1:27 PM on March 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


And I thought the Mitch Daniels regime was intolerable when I was a Hoosier. Every time I think "none more worse than this" it's only 5 - 10 more years until I'm thinking that the last guy was preferable to the current one. Whether or not Indiana's RFRA is unique (I'm on the side that believes it is), it has at least served the purpose of bringing this kind of religious douchebaggery to the forefront.

This is totally the fallout from Hobby Lobby (bless their little hearts) and Citizens United. Legal beings are now opportunistic profit seekers religious zealots with bottomless pockets. I have to hand it to the think tanks that have finally aligned the Family Matters and Money Altar wings of the Republican party. I don't know what it is going to take to put this back in the bottle but I fear the true believers are still a long way away from the kind of bottom it's going to take before they look inward instead of projecting the causes on The Others.
posted by Fezboy! at 1:44 PM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't really think McEwan can blaim "abandonment," for whatever exactly it is she's claiming a causal connection to. Indiana's been fucked in the heart for a long time. There's a reason it was a major base on the second Klan.
posted by PMdixon at 2:27 PM on March 30, 2015


Did we already link to Mike Pence can't answer a straight question, eight times? (Well, I guess the issue is that it was a LGBT question so he felt like he could discriminate against it.)

AFSCME Women's Conference has pulled their 700-attendee, half-million-dollar convention out of Indiana, this October.

Wilco has cancelled their May 7 Indianapolis concert (although the bill does not take effect until July 1).

Nine major Indiana employers call on Pence & the leg to reform or repeal the law, including two CEOs who have, in the past, served in prominent GOP roles in Indiana.

(Also, while Indiana has some hella-backwards stuff going on, as I noted upthread, it also has always had a leftie/progressive community -- in Indy, Gary, South Bend -- with a robust community of peace churches and Catholic radicals, and several excellent universities and all the left-winging that implies (IU, ND, Purdue, etc.). It was a strong anti-slavery state (despite the southernness of its southern tip) and so many men from Indiana enlisted in the Civil War that they had to be turned away. The northern half of the state was active early in the fight for unionization. They had Democratic governors for 16 years from 1989 to 2005. They have one Democratic Senator, and 2 of 9 representatives are Democrats (serving Indianapolis and Gary). The hard right turn the state legislature has taken in the last decade belies the diversity of the state's politics. There are definitely some real loonies in the boonies -- they are impossible to avoid or ignore -- but it's not like there isn't a left-wing community in Indiana. And, smartly, they've focused a lot of their attention on mayorships in big cities and putting more progressive policies in place at the local level -- several Indiana cities had non-discrimination clauses that this RFRA overrules -- as they got hit hard by redistricting and the rise of the Tea Party.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:20 PM on March 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: "but it's not like there isn't a left-wing community in Indiana."

Yes there is. I'm part of it and there are many like me. We are tired and we are beleaguered but we are not going down without a fight. Not everyone in Indiana is a dumb-ass hick (though we certainly have more than our fair share of those.) Before you look down your nose at us, keep in mind that it's a lot easier to be a lefty in San Francisco or Portland than it is here.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:27 PM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


double block and bleed: "Before you look down your nose at us"

I said it's not like there isn't -- as in THERE IS. I used to be a part of it myself when I lived there. :)

These days I only look down on Hoosiers insofar as they cheer for the wrong football team and their state troopers love to give my FIB plates tickets.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:22 PM on March 30, 2015


The Washington State government will be stopping all official travel to Indiana.
posted by schmod at 8:18 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eyebrows McGee: "I said it's not like there isn't..."

I didn't mean to imply that you were.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:36 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Front page of Tuesday's Indianapolis Star / text of front-page editorial

(The Star may justifiably be criticized for adopting this stance only after seeing the vehemence of the opposition, given its relatively tepid editorial on Sunday, but better late than never I suppose.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:44 PM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


...and in the Glorious Unintended Consequences category:

The First Church of Cannabis has been approved by Indiana’s secretary of state

Quote from Indiana attorney and political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, “I want a front row seat at the trial that we all know is going to happen when all this goes down.”
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:54 AM on March 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm hopping around my office with glee at this. Hopping, I tell you!
posted by rtha at 8:02 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some great quotes here.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:04 AM on March 31, 2015


The Star may justifiably be criticized for adopting this stance only after seeing the vehemence of the opposition, given its relatively tepid editorial on Sunday, but better late than never I suppose.

Yes it may, but the city paper of Indiana's capital city putting that scorcher of an editorial on the front page, full page, was as unmistakable a shot across the state government's bow as is possible for a newspaper to make.

I wonder, though, whether the "fix" would mostly be to the PR disaster Pence and his cronies invited. I am no lawyer, but I wonder if even if the state adopts Indianapolis' LGBT civil rights protections, a challenge asserting the right to discriminate under the so-called RFRA might yet succeed.
posted by Gelatin at 8:08 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would like to raise funds to build a lovely, low-priced, organic grocery in one of the constituencies of the men behind this bill. I would then turn over said business to the most strident splinter group from the Nation of Islam that I could find. Said group would then, of course, be free to refuse to serve white people on religious grounds.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:12 AM on March 31, 2015


free to refuse to serve white people
Race is a protected class. Right now in Indiana, sexual orientation is not.
posted by soelo at 8:25 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Quote from Indiana attorney and political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, “I want a front row seat at the trial that we all know is going to happen when all this goes down.”

I will bet you a whole dollar that the trial will consist of:

Prosecutor: Preventing marijuana consumption is a compelling state purpose for no better reason than we say so.
Judge: Sounds good to me.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:31 AM on March 31, 2015




Today Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. are calling on retail and apparel companies, and other businesses, to join us in speaking out against legalized discrimination.

Both of our companies have a long history of standing up for equal rights and equal opportunity for all. We have consistently spoken out against discrimination and unequal treatment based on race, sex or sexual orientation.

As Indiana, Arkansas, and states around the country enact and consider legislation that perpetuates discrimination, we’re urging State Legislatures to stand up for equality by repealing and voting against these discriminatory laws.


Link
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:50 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]




Keith Olberman weighs in.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:57 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the law's sponsor pulls the old "Silent Majority" play.

The streaming video accompanying the story notes that after Pence's public flameout on national TV, he retreated to the more friendly environs of the Wall Street Journal op-ed page. Ha!
posted by Gelatin at 8:58 AM on March 31, 2015


Indiana Governor Insists New Law Has Nothing To Do With Thing It Explicitly Intended To Do

Once again the Onion gets it exactly right. As an Indianapolis resident, I can say without fear of contradiction that absolutely no one had the slightest doubt that the law was conservative backlash against the state's law forbidding same-sex marriage being struck down.
posted by Gelatin at 9:01 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]




Mike Pence Knew What He Was Doing

Of course he did, which makes it all the more hilarious that he can't defend it.
posted by Gelatin at 9:58 AM on March 31, 2015




I'm a big "meh" on the NASCAR thing. They don't threaten anything.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:13 AM on March 31, 2015


Interesting that Malloy is coming out strong on this. Gay rights isn't exactly a huge issue in Connecticut. There's been same-sex marriage since 2008.
posted by smackfu at 10:23 AM on March 31, 2015


Meanwhile, the governor who signed the law pulls the old "liberal media" play.

Of note: "The law has set off a firestorm, with both critics and some supporters saying it would allow businesses to deny service to lesbian and gay customers if doing so would offend their religious beliefs." (Emphasis added)

The article also counters Pence's assertion that the law is simply a state version of the federal RFRA by pointing out the ways, already discussed in this thread, in which it differs.

I'm starting to become genuinely curious about the endgame here. Given that the law was an obvious sop thrown to religious conservatives in the wake of the state's gay marriage ban being struck down, and the nationwide attention this donnybrook is now receiving, any perceived retreat on the part of the Republican state government -- especially a state ban on LGBT discrimination! -- will surely not be looked on kindly by the constituency whose interests they sought to serve. Nor will it play well in future Iowa caucuses, thus damaging if not dooming Pence's presidential ambitions.
posted by Gelatin at 10:23 AM on March 31, 2015


Interesting that Malloy is coming out strong on this.

Malloy may have some 2016 aspirations, I think.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:24 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]




I meant his press conference today but really, they are all fiascos.
posted by futz at 12:31 PM on March 31, 2015


Indiana, Goddamn!
posted by spitbull at 12:32 PM on March 31, 2015


Gelatin: "I'm starting to become genuinely curious about the endgame here."

I honestly don't think that Mike Pence had an endgame. He's a dope. It sounded like he truly didn't know the contents of the law and was honestly perplexed as to what made it different from other states' laws.

The Tea Party-ish legislators who wrote it and fully intended the discriminatory outcome, my theory is they live in such a right-wing rage-bubble that they didn't imagine there'd be a backlash other than by the "liberal media" -- I think they figured there'd be a little noise about it but that "most people" were just quietly acquiescing to the "gay rights lobby" so as not to be called bigots but SECRETLY were waiting for the fine legislators of Indiana to stand up to the left-wing bullies. Someone with more knowledge of the inside workings of Indiana could make a better guess but that'd be my spitball from sideline viewing.

A dynamic I've seen a lot of in midwestern state politics is, you have these 50- and 60-year-old white male Republican politicians, who are sort of traditional Chamber-of-Commerce, belong-to-a-church, wife-wears-pearls kinds of guys, who have a really hard time understanding that among 30-year-olds (who now own homes and reliably vote and have retirement funds), "values voters/Christian right wing" and "Chamber of Commerce types" are now very firmly two separate groups. A lot of these people who are pretty senior in politics haven't worked in business for 20 years by the time they get to more senior positions, and they actually do not realize that a gay-unfriendly community is a recruiting liability for high-skill industries (tech, medicine, what have you). So they figure, "Eh, we'll do this right-wing thing for the values voters" and then are STUNNED by the backlash from Chamber of Commerce types.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:11 PM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


The Tea Party-ish legislators who wrote it and fully intended the discriminatory outcome, my theory is they live in such a right-wing rage-bubble that they didn't imagine there'd be a backlash other than by the "liberal media" -- I think they figured there'd be a little noise about it but that "most people" were just quietly acquiescing to the "gay rights lobby" so as not to be called bigots but SECRETLY were waiting for the fine legislators of Indiana to stand up to the left-wing bullies. Someone with more knowledge of the inside workings of Indiana could make a better guess but that'd be my spitball from sideline viewing

Jonathan Bernstein: Mike Pence Does GOP a Favor
Since all the 2016 Republican candidates lined up in support of the legislation, which was signed by a governor who himself is still a sort-of maybe contender for the nomination, why is it good for them?

They got an early reminder: The positions that play well in a small bubble of party politics and on Fox News may go wrong when the larger November 2016 electorate is exposed to them.

The only way a politician can get a party's nomination is to be fluent in the language the party speaks. For Republicans today, this means Christians in the U.S. are an at-risk minority, and Obamacare is to blame for rising health costs and lost coverage, and the economy is a disaster, and Benghazi is a scandal that has been covered up. And so on.

Those statements are false.

Any Republican presidential candidate who pointed any of this out would be out of contention in no time. But politicians who live in the bubble, and no longer even recognize that they're in it, also face a big risk: They lose track of the reality outside it.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:14 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I honestly don't think that Mike Pence had an endgame. He's a dope.

This bears repeating. Mike Pence is sort of uniquely, spectacularly stupid, and a horrible strategist. He is a talk radio personality trying to govern a state.

The one thing that's been heartening to see regarding "Pence's Folly" is the huge numbers of both Republicans and Democrats sharing the same voice in denouncing the bill; it seems somewhat safe to assume there is no "silent majority" hoping to codify discrimination into law. The proponents suggest misinformation on the part of the media but that's clearly a disingenuous feint. There is no confusion about what the bill intended. Those who stood next to and behind Pence made the bill's intent transparent: affirming the rights of straight people to treat LGBT people as second-class citizens. But the loud chorus against this bill clearly lets proponents know that they are not entitled to not feel guilty about treating other people that way. We are past the point where that is acceptable. Society considers that mindset bigoted and discriminatory, and if that truth bothers some people, then that's bad they have to feel uncomfortable, I guess, but the train isn't going to slow down to let them catch up to it. In thinking about how to discuss with friends and family, this is slowly the tack I've been taking: I can't convince you to see it my way, but you should know you've lost this battle and things aren't changing back.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:22 PM on March 31, 2015 [4 favorites]








The one thing that really pleases me about this fiasco is that Mike Pence has done a lovely job of torpedoing any chance of even running for president. This is a guy who would really love to be the GOP front-runner or even the actual president, but he's demonstrated to the whole country that he's too dumb to tie his own shoes. We've known that here since day one.
posted by double block and bleed at 1:43 PM on March 31, 2015


The proponents suggest misinformation on the part of the media but that's clearly a disingenuous feint.

Made all too obvious by Pence's repeated refusal on Sunday to answer a simple yes / no question as to whether the bill would allow discrimination against LGBT people.

And yes, it's important to note that Democrats -- who are in the minority and thus could not block the bill -- offered amendments that forced Republicans, by rejecting them, to acknowledge that the bill was intended to allow a "religious liberty" fig leaf for discrimination. The bill's purpose was clear all along; what's blindsiding Pence and his cronies is that the conservative talk radio crowd really isn't a majority in this country.
posted by Gelatin at 1:46 PM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Indiana and Arkansas are following what I call "The Walker Model". They can ignore protests and controversy, because it solidifies their credentials with their base, and it not as though the people protesting will ever vote for them anyway.

And because of various reasons, from Democratic Fecklessness to engineered majorities, there is no hope of the dems ever undoing what they have done. It's been 5 years since Walker eviscerated unions in Wisconsin - despite tremendous protests - and what repercussions has he faced ? Not thing one.

The lesson Walker has demonstrated and Pence seems to figuring out is that Liberals/Dems are powerless and can safely be ignored. The new normal is that of the religious freedom to force others to follow your rules from your god, as long as you are a business owner.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:26 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Since all the 2016 Republican candidates lined up in support of the legislation, which was signed by a governor who himself is still a sort-of maybe contender for the nomination, why is it good for them?

Ah, the old reliable "and so this is good for Republicans" template is out again. There's no less of a bubble among those reporting on this to think that it's still possible to flip a switch once primary season is over. (More to the point, isn't it the duty of reporters to remind their readers what Candidate X said during primaries and not shrug it off as bullshit for the base?)
posted by holgate at 2:31 PM on March 31, 2015


"Since all the 2016 Republican candidates lined up in support of the legislation, which was signed by a governor who himself is still a sort-of maybe contender for the nomination, why is it good for them? "

Because now Jeb Bush and all the rest of them are going to have to spend the primary season explaining why they hate gay people and support laws that hurt businesses, providing endless grist for highlight reels of bigotry and backpedaling on YouTube. They're all going to have to decide if they would rather be bigots fielding attacks from GLAAD all campaign season or backpedlers and flip-floppers facing right-wing rage.

I think Mike Pence not only did in his own national aspirations but may have seriously damaged a few other GOP contenders who spoke too fast and can't walk back their comments without damage. It's been a total messaging clusterfuck.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:13 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


So apparently Indiana Senate Bill 50 is going to be used as the "clarification" bill. No point linking to it at the moment because its current text is about something completely different, and the plan is to strip its current language and replace it. Apparently by using a bill that's already been through committees, etc., rather than a brand new bill, they can skip all of the usual rigamarole and get it to the floor of the House and Senate quickly.

@nkellyatJG seems to be on top of what's going on (as much as anyone is). Selected tweets:
Senate President Pro Tem David Long said the hope is to have a conference committee hearing on SB50/#RFRA tomorrow and vote on Thursday.

And, yes, still no solid idea of the language. I know that. We keep asking. I honestly don't think they know yet.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long said if not done by Thursday then it would hold over until Tuesday. No session Fri and Mon.

They usually don't meet on Friday and are off Monday due to the Final Four. Hotel rooms legislators use all taken.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:22 PM on March 31, 2015


DevilsAdvocate: "No point linking to it at the moment because its current text is about something completely different, and the plan is to strip its current language and replace it. Apparently by using a bill that's already been through committees, etc., rather than a brand new bill, they can skip all of the usual rigamarole and get it to the floor of the House and Senate quickly."

AKA a "shell bill." (I am ambivalent on them as they can obviously be used for nefarious purposes but mostly really are used for speed at the end of a session.)

Also, new slogans for Indiana. I'm partial to "It's INdiana, not OUTdiana" because I am a sucker for lame puns but there's some quality angry mockery in there.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:56 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gov. Pence: "Actually, it's about ethics"
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:50 PM on March 31, 2015


Also, new slogans for Indiana.

Oh wow, there's some good stuff in that thread. My favorite (also referencing the "right to 'work'" law — yes, I had to use nested scare quotes there — passed last year):

Indiana: No Unions, Civil or Otherwise
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:15 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


The lesson Walker has demonstrated and Pence seems to figuring out is that Liberals/Dems are powerless and can safely be ignored. The new normal is that of the religious freedom to force others to follow your rules from your god, as long as you are a business owner.

The lesson Walker has demonstrated is that no one with any power in either major political party cares about unions. Rather, the Democratic Party has to pretend to care about them, and the Republican party is openly contemptuous. Here, though, the Democratic party is (slowly, increasingly) very supportive of LGBT rights and gay marriage, and there is a split in the Republican party on the issue.

Or more cynically, people with money in the US are generally against unions and for LGBT rights, so that is the way the wind is blowing.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:37 PM on March 31, 2015


Here, though, the Democratic party is (slowly, increasingly) very supportive of LGBT rights and gay marriage, and there is a split in the Republican party on the issue.

And oh, how interesting it is that the pro-business side of Republican politics -- represented not least by the Indianapolis Star editorial linked above -- is turning what had been a perceived win for religious conservatives into a state law recognizing LGBT rights. The split between pro-business republicans and the evangelical wing is on full display, and the former is selling the latter out.
posted by Gelatin at 6:58 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Indiana Pizzeria Vows To Never Deliver A Pizza To A Gay Wedding LOL, okay, remind me not to order pizza for my wedding.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:13 AM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Indiana Pizzeria Vows To Never Deliver A Pizza To A Gay Wedding

I love the "We aren't discriminating, we just won't serve their kind" logic they use. It's like words don't have any meanings there.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:05 AM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's not discrimination, it's Digorno
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 AM on April 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


Arkansas Governor says he will not sign the RFRA as is. He's asking for changes in the language to mirror the federal RFRA. His own son told him to veto it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:46 AM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


His own son told him to veto it.

As did that old bastion of the loony left, Wal-Mart.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:25 AM on April 1, 2015


I like to think Indiana was Jacob Marley to Arkansas's Ebenezer Scrooge here. "Do not make the same mistakes I did in life! I forged my own chains link by link!"

Who knows, maybe Gov. Hutchinson was visited by the Ghosts of Gay Weddings Past, Present, and Yet To Come last night.

Although he isn't actually vetoing the bill, only "asking the legislature to recall the bill" for revision.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:51 AM on April 1, 2015


Indiana Pizzeria Vows To Never Deliver A Pizza To A Gay Wedding

I'll be honest, I feel bad for this woman. I couldn't even watch the whole video. She is from a town of 2000 people in the middle of nowhere, and seems to be surrounded by people who think the same (ignorant) things she does. She has no idea of the shitstorm she just walked into. The journalists who have catapulted this woman to fame have done her no favors, and it's really disappointing that ABC News linked to their yelp page, which is now overrun with fake reviews.

If you want to embarrass someone, there are a lot of bigger bad guys here who deserve public shaming (i.e. the politicians who are the public face of these laws and the big money behind the scenes that pays the politicians), I wish people would direct their energy there instead.
posted by slmorri at 11:06 AM on April 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'll be honest, I feel bad for this woman.

I don't. Leaving aside whether stupidity should be painful, her religion doesn't forbid providing services to people who flaunt gods laws. In fact, Jesus in many places explicitly tells them to do the exact opposite set a good example.

She'd know this if she'd ever read the goddamned thing, but the hatefully bigotted shitbrain never ever has.

She's a terrible and despicably stupid person.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:14 PM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Indiana Pizzeria Vows To Never Deliver A Pizza To A Gay Wedding

Pizza at a gay wedding?
posted by zarq at 12:30 PM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'll be honest, I feel bad for this woman.

I don't. Ultimately, she's the one who needs to learn how to be more tolerant. Because it's people like her who voted in the bigoted public servants that pass laws giving her the privilege to ignorantly, offensively discriminate against anyone she wants.

She's not innocent.
posted by zarq at 12:41 PM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


there are a lot of bigger bad guys here who deserve public shaming

Uh yeah, that's exactly what's been happening over the last week. The public shaming has been widespread and relentless, and deservedly so. That certainly doesn't mean this woman deserves less. No one forced her to go out of her way to be a bigot, to display that bigotry for everyone to see on television. That's what has me utterly baffled. Before this bill was signed, how often was this little pizzeria in a town of 2,000 people in the middle of nowhere forced to toil under the thumb of Big Government making pizzas for gay weddings? Never, that's how often. This underscores how this bill is not only useless and ridiculous, but that its only purpose is to get a pass to discriminate. And of course, once it's used for that purpose, and the inevitable backlash is heaped upon them (like on their Yelp page), they can cry "persecution!" Which is bullshit. This is "How dare you be intolerant of my intolerance!" in legislative form. Fuck that.
posted by Timmoy Daen at 12:59 PM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Uh yeah,

I'm going to back away from the thread now.
posted by slmorri at 1:02 PM on April 1, 2015




slmorri: "Indiana Pizzeria Vows To Never Deliver A Pizza To A Gay Wedding

I'll be honest, I feel bad for this woman.
"

I don't feel sorry for a loudmouth bigot who makes it look like everyone in my state is a loudmouth bigot.
posted by double block and bleed at 1:20 PM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Indiana Pizzeria Vows To Never Deliver A Pizza To A Gay Wedding

so far, 1779 yelp reviews and rising rapidly (some photos and comments nsfw)

(never been there, but the nearest sizable town, la porte, is like a time-warp to small city 60s america - i was like, wow, i remember this - wow, i really hated it - cool music store, though)
posted by pyramid termite at 2:06 PM on April 1, 2015


also, on my way to ft wayne, i once encountered a small ass convenience store in a small ass town where there was a sign saying "no hats allowed" in the store

i've never seen anything like that before - something's wrong with some of these people
posted by pyramid termite at 2:18 PM on April 1, 2015


The hat thing just seems old fashioned (in the non-awful way).
posted by brundlefly at 2:59 PM on April 1, 2015


I don't feel sorry for a loudmouth bigot who makes it look like everyone in my state is a loudmouth bigot.

I do. Because I don't think it makes everyone in the state look like a loudmouth bigot. It makes it look like the ABC affiliate in South Bend struck out 500 times finding a loudmouth bigot before hitting internet-shaming-mob gold at a pizza place in the middle of nowhere.

It gave Mike Pence, the GOP legislative leadership and whoever else in Indiana slapped this bill together a day off. Nice work, internet.
posted by holgate at 3:16 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll be honest, I feel bad for this woman.

Why? She's a nasty little bigot who said (and does) nasty bigoted things. If she doesn't want to be treated like a nasty little bigot, her option is to stop acting like a nasty little bigot. It's not like she said something that was taken out of context, it's not like she had a slip of the tongue (or keyboard); she quite deliberately said what she did because us queers are like totally gross.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:32 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


She might just be severely uneducated.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:35 PM on April 1, 2015


I'll be honest, I feel bad for this woman.

i don't - she can just turn the tv and the internet off and bask in the praise of her neighbors, who are probably planning a friday night prayer pizza dinner there as the weekend approaches

her social network will be plenty of armor for her protection because that's how small towns are
posted by pyramid termite at 3:53 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


She's a nasty little bigot who said (and does) nasty bigoted things.

Let's wild-guess that there are, say, 1% of Indianans who are nasty little bigots. That's roughly 65,000 nasty little bigots, so if one or two are publicly shamed per day, with allowances for holidays, they'll all be taken care of by the year 2130. Hm, let's factor in the bigots who die before we get to them, and a bigot replacement rate of less than 1.0. So, perhaps 2080.

Alternatively, focus on the people with actual political power instead of dancing round a scapegoat picked out for you by Your Local Live Local Helicopter Eyewitness News Team At 6.
posted by holgate at 4:16 PM on April 1, 2015


I'm really quite capable of harbouring no sympathy for that nasty little bigot at the same time as advocating to people with power.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:19 PM on April 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah. Harbouring no sympathy takes precisely zero time and energy.
posted by brundlefly at 4:22 PM on April 1, 2015


Memories pizza is temporarily closed.

Also, the owners have political power.They vote. And it would not surprise me if they become the next martyr for the Christian right.
posted by zarq at 5:14 PM on April 1, 2015


Doesn't the fact that they could become martyrs (which, let's get real, was inevitable) suggest that singling them out was a bad idea? Now no one is talking about stupid Gov. Pence, everyone is talking about stupid small town woman.
posted by slmorri at 5:23 PM on April 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


no justice, no pizza
posted by pyramid termite at 5:29 PM on April 1, 2015


south bend tribune reports
posted by pyramid termite at 5:37 PM on April 1, 2015


[golf clap]

"Same time tomorrow, Ralph?"
"Same time tomorrow, Sam."
posted by holgate at 5:51 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pizza at a gay wedding?

I have it on good authority that when pizza's on a bagel, you can have pizza anytime.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:26 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's roughly 65,000 nasty little bigots, so if one or two are publicly shamed per day, with allowances for holidays, they'll all be taken care of by the year 2130

That's not very ambitious. I'm sure we could shame 10 nasty little bigots per day, so that would only take 18 years. And I can probably double my rate when I retire.
posted by happyroach at 7:48 PM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


$36,000 raised so far for Memories Pizza on GoFundMe. That place is probably going to get a Chick-fil-A level boost in business when she reopens.
posted by riruro at 8:07 PM on April 1, 2015


Now no one is talking about stupid Gov. Pence, everyone is talking about stupid small town woman.

I'm in Indiana, and believe me, plenty of people are still talking about stupid Gov. Pence, far more than are talking about this woman.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:22 PM on April 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think everyone can stop feeling sorry for them now, $38k and counting is probably more than a shitty pizza place in rural Indiana nets in a year.

Hurray for the internet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:47 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the grand scheme of right-wing crowdfunding, hypothetically not catering for a hypothetical gay wedding is at least an improvement on shooting dead African-American teenagers.

There is something terribly broken about how this and so many other serious issues got dragged sideways by a combination of stupid local TV news reporting and stupid internet pile-ons.
posted by holgate at 9:48 PM on April 1, 2015


Am I being too bitter for thinking the governor is actually puzzled? "Wait, we only meant this so that women wouldn't be able to get contraceptives and morning after after pills!"
posted by happyroach at 1:17 AM on April 2, 2015


In today's developments, a legislative fix is in the works.
A draft circulated early Wednesday said that the new "religious freedom" law does not authorize a provider — including businesses or individuals — to refuse to offer or provide its services, facilities, goods, or public accommodation to any member of the public based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, or military service.

The proposed language exempts churches or other nonprofit religious organizations — including affiliated schools — from the definition of "provider."

Later Wednesday, additional language was added to include protections in housing and employment.

The clarifying language is likely to rile socially conservative advocacy groups, which hold significant sway among Republicans at the Statehouse and pushed hard for the religious freedom law after a failed legislative effort last year to enshrine a same-sex marriage ban in the state constitution.


If I'm reading the fix correctly, and if the report is accurate, the fix will essentially de-fang the original law by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Since permitting that was the entire point of the law in the first place, I bet it would indeed "rile" social conservatives .
posted by Gelatin at 5:53 AM on April 2, 2015


Saw Nick Offerman perform at IU-Bloomington last night, where he spent about a third of his act talking about this law. He's donating the proceeds from that gig to the Human Rights Campaign, and has cancelled his other Indiana engagements in protest of the RFRA. He also read a statement by Parks & Rec co-creator Mike Schur that, among other things, related why both Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson would object to laws like this one.

As Nick acknowledged, he was mostly preaching to the choir given the venue, but he was pretty even-handed about addressing the idiocy and dishonesty of Pence and the people behind the legislation on the one hand, without going all LOLCHRISTIANS on the other. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, given that he seems like such a down-to-earth, live-and-let-live kind of guy.

It was surreal to hear Ron Swanson talk about something I had kind of expected a minority of us in Indiana to be outraged by (and we were), but ultimately to be a blip on the screen for the rest of the country. It's been great to see the backlash here and across the country, though, and to see local people mobilizing so quickly against the RFRA. Pence was scheduled to speak here in Bloomington Tuesday, and he cancelled when he saw the protest that would have greeted him. Instead he sent Indiana's Attorney General, who showed up at an anti-RFRA rally to listen to our concerns, and promise to take them back to the Governor.

I don't pretend that this wasn't a calculated political move on his and Pence's part, but it doesn't say much for their confidence level right now either.
posted by Rykey at 5:55 AM on April 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


happyroach: "Am I being too bitter for thinking the governor is actually puzzled?"

You have successfully understood Mike Pence; he is not a thinker.

Gelatin: " the fix will essentially de-fang the original law by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Since permitting that was the entire point of the law in the first place, I bet it would indeed "rile" social conservatives ."

Just leaving the right for people to use drugs in religious services -- well done, conservatives!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:05 AM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


How much is the governor involved in laws before they cross his desk for signature?
posted by smackfu at 6:07 AM on April 2, 2015


Pizza at a gay wedding?

The only gay wedding I ever saw* on the TLC show Four Weddings was a lesbian couple getting married in a "Broadway-themed" NYC ceremony, and they served pizza and soda (straight from the plastic 2-litters) at their reception. They supposedly had a $10k budget, but it's still unclear what exactly they spent it on (the venue was somebody's workplace and the bride's dress was made by a friend). Needless to say, the guest brides were horrified.

*Google tells me there has been at least one more.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:12 AM on April 2, 2015


How much is the governor involved in laws before they cross his desk for signature?

If memory serves me correctly, as far as the original incarnation of the bill, he didn't seem to be particularly involved, nor was there any special reason for him to be. As everyone knew at the time, it was a bone thrown deliberately to social conservatives in the wake of Indiana's same-sex marriage ban being struck down. It was written by social conservatives, passed by social conservatives and signed in front of an audience of social conservatives by a governor with at least one eye on the socially conservative Iowa caucuses.

As I said before, Pence's involvement now represents the business-friendly wing of the Republican Party throwing the social conservatives under the bus yet again, and it looks to me as if the latter are well aware of it. (Good -- the alignment of evangelicals with one political party was a corrupt bargain in the first place and they are reaping what they've sown.)

Also recall that during the original legislative process, Democrats introduced exactly this kind of amendment, only for it to be shot down by the Republican majority.
Multiple Democratic attempts to ensure "religious freedom" legislation will not be used as a tool for discrimination were overwhelmingly rejected Thursday by the Republican-controlled Indiana House.

Senate Bill 101, which could get a final House vote Monday, exempts individuals, including businesses, from state laws and local ordinances if a person claims the law violates his or her religious beliefs -- unless the government can show the burden is the least restrictive way to further a legitimate state interest.

Responding to fears the measure is intended to permit business owners to discriminate against homosexuals, state Rep. Ed Delaney, D-Indianapolis, proposed adding a sentence declaring the protection of civil rights and prevention of discrimination is a compelling government interest.

"If we pass this bill as it is now, we will have said one interest, one compelling interest, trumps all others, and that's religion," Delaney said. "I'm trying to make it clear that ... this body believes in civil rights and equality as it believes in religious freedom."

His amendment was defeated 60-31, with just three Republicans -- none from Northwest Indiana -- joining all Democrats in voting to add the nondiscrimination clause.

A second Delaney proposal barring religious freedom from being used as a defense in crimes involving domestic violence or the sexual abuse of children, or to deny the provision of health care, was rejected 61-30.

Also getting outvoted were state Rep. Gail Riecken, D-Evansville, who sought to declare laws and regulations protecting the health, safety or welfare of children superseded religious liberty claims, and state Rep. John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis, who wanted businesses intending to discriminate based on religion required to post notice on their doors and websites.
I hope Democrats will not let Republicans forget that fact any time soon.
posted by Gelatin at 6:28 AM on April 2, 2015 [7 favorites]




His amendment was defeated 60-31, with just three Republicans -- none from Northwest Indiana -- joining all Democrats in voting to add the nondiscrimination clause.

Other than the fact that this article appeared in the Times of Northwest Indiana's site, is the fact that no R's voted to add the clause significant? Is NW Indiana still a Democratic stronghold?
posted by zarq at 7:43 AM on April 2, 2015


Shakesville: Indiana #RFRA Updates - "... what we need from outsides is this: Support, not abandonment."

Why We're Not Boycotting Indiana, Store Brand Soda
"Want to fight back against the tired idea that everything not on a coast is a hopeless cesspool of reactionary politics? Help raise the profile of people who live in flyover country who are doing cool stuff. Just like most places with a few million people, Indiana has some rad queer musicians. Take the money you’re saving on homophobic pizza and drop it on a record from one of these bands."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:57 AM on April 2, 2015


It's a difficult catch-22 though, innit? Boycotting hurts individual business owners, and that may well be the only argument any of the assbag side will listen to.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:02 AM on April 2, 2015


Doesn't the fact that they could become martyrs (which, let's get real, was inevitable) suggest that singling them out was a bad idea? Now no one is talking about stupid Gov. Pence, everyone is talking about stupid small town woman.

I think that's exactly it. Something about this smells to me - either this was a careful orchestrated setup or some incredibly opportunistic work being done behind the scenes to take advantage; this story dominated one news cycle, and now will dominate a second because they were "forced" to close. This quote from TPM just really does it:

"Because I don't believe in something they want, they see fit to be angry about it," O'Connor said about the backlash over his beliefs. "It's really confusing to me. I'm just a little guy in a little tiny town. That's where I've been all my life. It's just been ugly. I don't know what to call it."

It's got lots of dog whistles, doesn't it?
-He doesn't believe in something "they" want; but this isn't about what the LGBT community wants, it is about their rights as human beings. So right away we have a fight about framing, because he doesn't get it.
-And people are angry! That's not nice, we should be civil. Angry people don't deserve to be listened to, right?
-He's just a little guy in a little town, where he's been all his life - he's heartland America, folks! Just an honest business man! Won't somebody think of the honest, small town business man in all this?
-It's ugly - hey, he's the victim here! He's just got honest beliefs, this small town guy running a small business, and those nasty liberals are picking on him!

So, the derail continues - comments here to enrage the opposition, and comments to rally the base. Wonderful smokescreen. Meanwhile, the heat from the justifiably angry opposition is off Pence and they can try to rush through a bill to clarify that might contain things that their base might not stand for - because they are also distracted by the poor small businessman!

It's Joe the Plumber all the way down.
posted by nubs at 8:02 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Regarding Store Brand Soda, I think it should be pretty obvious that a tiny punk record label boycotting a state doesn't really make much sense in terms of economic leverage. Comparing them to a major corporate boycott is totally apples and oranges.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:06 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Memories Pizza is up to $114k. So when you go to work today, keep in mind that you could make more than your yearly salary by hitting the just the right mix of right winger dogwhistles to trigger a crowdfunding campaign. Who said the culture war never pays?
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:08 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]




Indiana Republicans to Revise Rights Bill to Prohibit Discrimination
The proposed addition in Indiana says that the measure “does not authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”

It also says specifically that the measure does not “establish a defense” to a civil suit or prosecution for refusal by a provider to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods or more.
So after this change passes (if it does), what exactly is left of Indiana's RFRA? Isn't the whole point of the RFRA that it allows you to discriminate?
posted by alms at 8:28 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's still the other non-discriminatory parts of religious freedom, like the peyote smoking.
posted by smackfu at 8:41 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, cool. I'll have to keep that in mind next time I visit Indiana.
posted by alms at 8:43 AM on April 2, 2015


Also, "look what those godless liberals made us do" is an excellent campaign talking point.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:44 AM on April 2, 2015


That NYT story makes it crystal clear that the business-friendly wing of the state Republican Party is selling out the social conservatives. Third graf:
A news conference Thursday morning in the statehouse in Indianapolis demonstrated the power of that economic argument, as a cadre of executives, along with gay rights activists, hailed the proposed amendment to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which they said they expected to win approval by the General Assembly.

Then there's this load of nonsense:
Brian C. Bosma, the Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives, said the original bill was not meant to permit discrimination, and said he regretted that people thought it did.
As I've said before, everyone involved, in particular the bill's supporters, had no doubt whatever that permitting discrimination was exactly what it was about. The timing, the vocal statements of the bill's so-called "pro-family" backers and the fact that the Republicans nixed the very amendments they're trying to incorporate now made it obvious, and it's somewhat disingenuous for the media to give Indiana's Republicans cover they don't deserve by publishing this blatant lie.

(Well, okay, I'm sure he does regret people think it does, but given that it's not only an accurate perception but one that he sought to foster among his own constituency, it's just too bad.)

On the other hand, I will enjoy looking at the smug faces in the photo from the bill's signing ceremony with the knowledge that their pet provisions will be only a memory.
posted by Gelatin at 8:51 AM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


These reactionary "let's flood them with money to show the liberals" campaigns tend to backfire. The worst thing that can happen to a business is unchecked growth, and I have seen more businesses go under from unexpected success than unexpected failure.

Sometimes I feel like the worst thing I could do to the people I hate is help them get exactly what they want. It would destroy them within a year.
posted by maxsparber at 8:52 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, "look what those godless liberals made us do" is an excellent campaign talking point.

But I doubt it'll work this time. On the one hand, many of these state legislators come from safe, bright-red districts. On the other hand, just as everyone and their dog recognized the law's intent, social conservatives will rightly perceive that Indiana's Republican delegation backed down. That kind of thing just doesn't fly among the talk-radio crowd.

I doubt it'll damage too many political careers given how solidly conservative rural Indiana is, but on the other hand you may well see either primary challenges, less enthusiasm among evangelical voters or both in the next cycle. I also sense that Pence's presidential ambitions are sunk at this point; how could he sell folding like this to the socially conservative Iowa caucuses?
posted by Gelatin at 8:56 AM on April 2, 2015


futz: A petition for Indiana University to give Mike Pence an honorary doctorate in interpretive dance for his performance on "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos.
I assure you, and I mean it- Now, who says I don’t speak out as plain as day? And, fellow Texans, I’m for progress and the flag- long may it fly. I’m a poor boy, come to greatness. So, it follows that I cannot tell a lie. Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don’t- I’ve come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step, cut a little swathe and lead the people on.
There is your precedence for this sort of political dance.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:47 AM on April 2, 2015


Baptist Pastor: Religious Liberty Law Permits Denial Of Some Services
Indiana's religious freedom law is the subject of national debate, and for many its wording is a problem. Steve Inskeep talks to Baptist pastor Tim Overton of Muncie, who's in favor of the measure.
Pastor Tim won't perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples, or if one or both individuals were previously divorced, and he goes on to then equate cake bakers with artists whose artistic words can't be forced to say something they don't support, but says burger makers aren't held to the same standards.

I, for one, look forward to the irate sandwich artists of Subway who deny service to deviant individuals as they don't want to dirty their hands by crafting food-art for sinners.

Also, I wonder if this now frees Jehovah's Witnesses from making birthday cakes, as birthday celebrations have pagan roots and the Bible never refers to a servant of God celebrating a birthday, among other reasons to not celebrate birthdays.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 AM on April 2, 2015


Pastor Tim won't perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples

Of course, one doesn't need such a law to protect his position; it's already the case that the state can't compel any kind of religious service.

From the story: "People call him 'Pastor Tim.""

Among other things...
posted by Gelatin at 10:00 AM on April 2, 2015


Hully gee, there are at least two back-to-back corkers in that NPR story.

For one thing, Steve Inskeep, a notably softball interviewer in my experience, counters "Pastor Tim"'s contention that the law should protect only "speech" -- defining making a cake as speech, of course -- by pointing out that the law itself makes no such distinction.

(But then again, if the NPR staff has indeed read the law and is aware of such facts, they have no business giving state lawmakers and Governor Pence a platform to tell outright lies about the law, either. There's no rule that says you have to quote someone if you know what they say to be untrue.)

And immediately thereafter, "Pastor Tim" gives away the game by pointing out that the distinctions would be designated by the courts. Meaning that yes, the explicit purpose of Indiana's law is to allow discrimination, or more accurately provide a defense from discrimination suits in court.

Thanks for clearing that up, "Pastor Tim."
posted by Gelatin at 10:10 AM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had to turn that interview off, because I was in my car when it came on and I really don't need a shove towards the "drive angry" end of the spectrum.
posted by rtha at 10:59 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Brian Beutler: Religious Conservatives Got Greedy in Indiana, and It's Costing Them
The dilemma conservatives claim to care about is actually pretty easy to resolve, if you examine its unspoken elements. But those elements include a presumption that gays and lesbians are generally entitled to the same kinds of legal protections as other minorities. The advocates of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act aren’t willing to grant that presumption, though, and they thus find themselves hoist on the petard of their own bad faith.
[...]
When it became clear that Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act created a large theoretical space for entrepreneurs to discriminate—where anti-gay business owners could refuse to serve gay customers and then let judges sort out who was in the right—Indiana Republicans faced demands to amend the law, so that it couldn’t be used to this end.

And that’s what’s happening. The updated Indiana law will prohibit business owners from using the RFRA as a defense against refusing “to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.” (Emphasis added.)

This answers equality concerns by saying anti-discrimination laws trump RFRA. As those laws spread, the legal safe space will shrink and shrink until it disappears entirely. Even for the creative tradespeople.

Conservatives could still create specific carveouts, so that religious bakers and their artisinal colleagues can be excepted. But the problem is that the exception will prove the rule of equality. And conservatives don’t want that, either.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:58 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


When it became clear that Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act created a large theoretical space for entrepreneurs to discriminate—where anti-gay business owners could refuse to serve gay customers and then let judges sort out who was in the right—Indiana Republicans faced demands to amend the law, so that it couldn’t be used to this end.

And that’s what’s happening.


What Beutler skips is that it was clear from the outset that the purpose of this law was to carve out spaces to discriminate, and that Indiana Republicans faced and rejected identical demands to amend the law while it was still being debated in the statehouse. Indeed, the rejection of those amendments was nothing but confirmation that the bill's purpose was in fact to provide a religious figleaf for discrimination in the first place.

(I forget who compared this process to Scott Walker's taking advantage of a solid Republican majority to force through his own illiberal laws, but the analogy of the dynamic is apt.)

That Republicans are pretending to be surprised at the interpretation of the law that was the very basis of its appeal to their socially conservative constituents, and are now adopting the very provisions they smugly rejected when Democrats proposed them, is all the more evidence of their bad faith. I'm tremendously amused at social conservatives' ire that Republican bad faith is being turned against them for a change.
posted by Gelatin at 12:07 PM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Brian Beutler: Religious Conservatives Got Greedy in Indiana, and It's Costing Them

The photo header of that article is the greatest possible thing. More things in general should have photos of overjoyed lgbt couples eating cake.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:13 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]




A Queer Hoosier on Still Loving Indiana:

My liberal—and just reasonable—friends and family from Indiana are pulling their own hair out with frustration. I’ve dealt with people turning up their noses or scowling when I say where I’m from. They say they’re never going there and the whole state should fall into a sinkhole. Those of us who have moved on from Indiana, even though we still have roots there, have watched people in the media claim, in not so many words, that Hoosiers leading the backlash against the bill don’t exist. We’re expected to shun Indiana and pretend we don’t know what we know: This bill does not represent us.

I see what Indiana-haters are trying to do. They’re trying to stand up, be bold, be brave. I want to shake them, remind them that abandoning people isn’t noble or original.

posted by nubs at 1:44 PM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


$260,000 raised in 24 hours. A hundred grand more than Tropes vs. Women in Video Games managed to get.
posted by riruro at 2:59 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think anyone has ever doubted the ability of religious folk to raise money.
posted by smackfu at 3:04 PM on April 2, 2015


Pat Robertson tells anti-LGBT pizza shop owners to shut up: This is about ‘cake-bakers’:
“Pizzas? I think, you know, you might as well keep your mouth shut,” Robertson said. “I’m not sure I would serve pizza for a gay wedding. Most gays, if they’re having a wedding, don’t want pizzas – they want cake. It’s the cake makers that are having the problem.”
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 3:13 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


RFRA fix bill passes both houses and is signed by Gov. Pence. Vote was 66-30 in the House, 34-16 in the Senate. Those voting against the fix were mostly Democrats (on the grounds that it didn't go far enough) plus a smattering of far-right Republicans.

Meanwhile, the clueless Indianapolis Star editorial board publishes an editorial calling the fix "a historic step forward." No it isn't, it just returns the law, at least as far as LGBT rights go, to what it was 9 days ago, before the first law passed. It's not a historic step forward, it's just a return to the starting line. Meanwhile the state has suffered uncounted embarrassment and damage to its reputation which will last for years, even with the "fix." Today's editorial says "[T]here are promises — credible promises — to go farther in the future." Maybe I've missed them, but I've been following the issue fairly closely and have seen no such promises. Certainly, there have been calls both within and without the state (and even a half-hearted one by the Star itself, near the end of that editorial) to "go farther" and write full LGBT protection into state law, but I have yet to see a single Indiana Republican legislator suggest they would support such a thing, and given the makeup of the statehouse, that means there have been no "credible promises" to do anything further.

To review the some of the Star's editorials on the issue: On Sunday, a tepid "it's done, let's move on" editorial. Only after seeing the massive scope of the backlash do they publish their bold, widely-hailed, front-page "FIX THIS NOW" editorial on Tuesday. Today, what is merely a return to the status quo ante is hailed by the Star as "a historic step forward." More and more, the Star's Tuesday editorial is looking like a case of the stopped clock being right twice a day.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:03 PM on April 2, 2015


The Star has improved. Now I wouldn't wrap a dead fish in it 364 days out of the year. Baby steps.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:20 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


“It doesn’t matter what custom you’ve got, it doesn’t matter what holy thing that you worship and adore, the gays are going to get it,” Robertson said. “They’re going to make you conform to them. You’re going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of — whatever it is, and sooner or later you’re going to have to conform your religious beliefs the group of some abhorrent thing. It won’t stop at homosexuality.”
wat
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:26 PM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


so basically he's spent some time imagining some gay church where god loves buttfucking goats

is this a thing that has happened
posted by poffin boffin at 7:43 PM on April 2, 2015


The split between pro-business republicans and the evangelical wing is on full display, and the former is selling the latter out.

yes.....yes.... crack the Party....

The American Conservative: Morality or Mammon?, Rod Dreher
You may vote for Republican governors, citizen, but corporate CEOs (e.g., Apple, Wal-Mart) will tell them how they can govern.

— Joe Carter (@joecarter) April 1, 2015

Yes. This. What we are seeing now, unfolding at breakneck speed, is the fracturing of the conservative political coalition. As I said the other day, when the Republican governor of Arkansas can flip-flop overnight when Wal-mart executives clear their throats, you know once and for all who wields the real power in the Republican Party.
The Eclipse of Religious Liberty
It seems to me that the real and lasting meaning of what has happened here is how, in the court of public opinion (at least the public opinion that matters as to how the country is run), we now see that religious liberty, a First Amendment freedom, is something contemptible when it clashes with gay rights. Not only something unimportant, but something despicable.

This is no small thing. It is a big thing. It is something so enormous that I think it’s going to take us a while to absorb what has happened, and what it means for the future.
w/ bonus tortured crucifiction metaphor.

WaPo: Republicans need to get away from the religious freedom debate. Now.

Lawyers, Guns and Money: The Weaponization Of Religious Exemptions
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t have confident or strongly held views about the ideal and proper scope of religious exemptions, although I’ve probably been drifting further from the RFRA framework and closer to Smith. The backlash against the Indiana bill—a bill that, private torts provision aside, isn’t that different from something that once passed the house unanimously and the senate with 97 votes—not to mention even conservative Republicans vetoing similar legislation in Arizona and Arkansas–suggests something very real has changed. The assumption on the right is that it’s liberals who’ve changed; we don’t support religious freedom like we did back in the 90’s. They’re not entirely wrong about that, but it’s an incomplete view about what has changed. Insofar as liberals changed their minds about the proper scope of religious exemptions, they didn’t do so in a vacuum, they changed their mind about it because the context we’re now in—facing an utterly shameless political movement that treats any conceivable political tool as fair game to achieve its political ends—is just simply not the kind of environment that fits well with an expansive approach to religious exemptions.
Stonekettle Station: Dear Christians: A Modest Proposal, Jim Wright
It’s just a coincidence that the sponsors of Religious Freedom Restoration bills happen to be Christian.

It’s just a coincidence that laws are written and passed by people who believe they must protect Christian beliefs and promote the Christian version of morality and who loudly declare the United States a Christian nation based on Christian values.

It’s just a coincidence that Christian fundamentalists came up with Indiana’s new Religious Freedom bill – and Arizona’s Religious Freedom Bill, and eighteen other states with similar religious “freedom” laws. Not to mention the federal law. It’s just a coincidence that those bills had no non-Christian sponsors.

It’s just a coincidence that it was a Christian Arizona state legislator who declared church attendance should be mandatory for every American. Not for religious reasons, of course, oh no. For moral reasons. It’s just a coincidence that she didn’t say Mosque attendance should be mandatory, or Temple attendance, or Pagan Druid Ceremonies, or a non-religious class on ethics and morality. No. Just a coincidence. An oversight. Her evangelical Christian beliefs had nothing to do with her statement that every single American be forced to attend Christian church for moral reasons.

It’s just a coincidence that the overwhelming majority of those who attempt to limit reproductive freedom and end of life choices are fanatical Christian fundamentalists.

It’s just a coincidence that those currently demanding America go to war with Muslim Iran are, yep, again outspoken Christians hoping to bring about the prophesied Holy Land apocalypse of their Christian bible. Totally coincidental.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:08 PM on April 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


And the memories pizza people are closing in on a half mil at this point.

They're they only people (other than registered Indiana lobbyists) who are loving this whole episode.

Only the 1% of local interviewees benefit from the perfidy of right wing largess, because Jesus works in mysterious ways, and like Obi Wan Jesusii said, "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine".
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:38 PM on April 2, 2015


"You’re going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of" (Pat Robertson)

See, every time I see a statement that cascades like this, I end up thinking of how often equating the Abhorred Other with animals is used to dehumanize, separate, and ultimately make fair game a group of people. Black people get equated with monkeys. Jews were often depicted as rats and other vermin during the 1930s in Europe. I've seen multiple times the phrase "Islamist dogs" (which is doubly insulting because of the unclean status in the Muslim faith).

With the gay marriage subject, the issue becomes even more dehumanizing. Because all too often, and this happens with politicians as well as preachers, the statement then continues into something like "what if I wanted to marry this chair, or my car?". It equates LGBT people with non-living objects, complete non-human non-animals. It speaks volumes about exactly how this part of our society is viewed by those who say such things.

If they were confronted with this fact about what they are sayine, they would of course swiftly backpedal. But the words have been spoken and written (so many times over the decades I've been an out queer that unless I take conscious recognition of them when I come across them it might as well just be the wallpaper in my kitchen), and the facts remain the facts: that person, whoever it was (in this case Pat Robertson [when will he just go away?]), equates LGBT people as not human, perhaps not even living creatures.

Bigotry doesn't get more naked than this. Watch for it -- it's everywhere, and it's all the time. And I'm really fucking tired.
posted by hippybear at 12:27 AM on April 3, 2015 [11 favorites]


One of the things popping up is the "betrayal" by Wal-Mart of the Arkansas RFRA, which was hardly any different than the others!

The RFRA Gauntlet: The Indiana RFRA May Be Bad, but the Arkansas RFRA Is Even Worse
The Arkansas RFRA really takes the prize when it grants employers and businesses RFRA rights to impose their beliefs and practices on employees and customers, but explicitly prohibits employees from invoking their beliefs against the employer: The Arkansas bill states that it does not “Create a right or cause of action with respect to an employee against an employer if the employer is not a government entity.” Talk about the transmogrification of religious liberty for purposes of serving the powerful and disabling the vulnerable!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:43 AM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hasn't the Arkansas RFRA been amended since that article was written?
posted by smackfu at 6:27 AM on April 3, 2015




First I'm gonna marry my husband, then I'm gonna marry the MOOOOON!
posted by Strass at 8:05 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I MARRIED MARS
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 AM on April 3, 2015


If I move to california and marry the annual state budget I can then divorce it and get HALF THE MONEY HAHA YOU HETERO SUCKERS IM LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK
posted by poffin boffin at 8:48 AM on April 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


"I want to see other states"
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Carly Fiorina: Tim Cook Opposition to Indiana Religious Freedom Law Hypocritical

'Cause at least the gays have it better here than in China and Saudi Arabia or something like that.
posted by octothorpe at 10:09 AM on April 3, 2015


NY Times: Questions For Indiana’s Critics, Ross Douthat

The American Conservative: The Post-Indiana Future For Christians, Rod Dreher
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:49 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dreher has been down in the bunker for a while now. He wrote more posts about (how he was disgusted by) Bruce Jenner than any LGBT outlet I follow, and he's been wallowing in this Left Behind fantasy since Hobby Lobby.
posted by Corinth at 12:38 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dreher has been down in the bunker for a while now.

He had a little post, too thin to link, where he incredulously asked if the thirty percent or so of Americans who believed in "traditional marriage" were really like "Jim Crow racists." He seriously underestimates the resistance to the Civil Rights movement to even be asking that question.

There's a phenomena I noticed a few years ago (and looked for links on, but none so far). Ask people in the US on election day in 2008 who they voted for, and you'll get the same numbers as the election. Ask them again in 2009, 2012, 2015... and all of a sudden those people who enthusiastically proclaimed their support for the losing side stayed home that day. Or don't recall who they voted for. Or voted for the winners.

If you looked around now, you might seriously underestimate the level of resistance at the time to movements and events that we now view as the natural course of justice. Resistance that was sincerely held, and apparently integral to people self-perception.

But someone's got to be on the losing side of history.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:00 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I read Dreher's blog because his obsession with gay marriage and "liberal fascists" is just so fascinating. There's just this massive blind spot that he can't see about who is really being oppressed here. I've never seen the conservative reality bubble so clearly outlined. Dreher just refuses to address the facts that the Indiana law was clearly motivated by anti-gay animus. Every other post is wailing and fainting about fascist liberals and gays that won't stop until they destroy Christians and how Christians are the new martyrs and the only future for them is the "Benedict Option" ("real" Christians "going galt"). It's oddly entertaining, but I do worry about Dreher and other conservative commentators stirring the pot the way they are. His conservative readers are the ones with the guns.

(I can only imagine what they're going to do when SCOTUS finally rules. I keep thinking back to Orson Scott Card's threat of armed insurrection.)
posted by longdaysjourney at 2:17 PM on April 3, 2015


The Indiana Backlash
Next month the Supreme Court will hear a consolidated case from plaintiffs challenging same-sex marriage bans in four states. Its decision may determine whether states are constitutionally required to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples and whether states are similarly required to recognize such licenses granted in other states. You can bet that the justices are paying attention to the Indiana backlash.

The Court is paying attention to the social change surrounding it.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:06 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Between gay rights and religious expression from Omnivore has links to many papers on SSRN. from last year: When ‘Religious Liberty’ Was Used To Justify Racism Instead Of Homophobia, similar to how religious schools in the American South coalesced out of a desire to be free from integration, and only after that failure took up the mantle of 'pro-life.' The Rise Of LGBT Rights Is An Existential Threat To Conservative Religious Groups, while progressives are skeptical of encroachments after The Hobby Lobby Bait-and-Switch.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:43 PM on April 3, 2015


USA Today: Indiana needs to balance gay, religious rights, Stephen Prothero
For as long as I can remember, the culture wars have been poisoning our politics, turning Democrats and Republicans into mortal enemies and transforming arenas that used to be blithely bipartisan into battlegrounds between good and evil. Now our battles over "family values" are threatening to kill religious liberty. And liberals do not much seem to care.

In a recent speech at Boston University, University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock observed that America's sexual revolution seems to be going the way of the French Revolution, in which religion and liberty cannot coexist. Today pro-choice and gay rights groups increasingly view conservative Christians as bigots hell bent on imposing their primitive beliefs on others.
"imposing their primitive beliefs on others" like the use of state constitutional amendments and ballot measures to drive social conservative turnout in key races. You'd think a member of a religion with two millenia of history would remember things that happened 11 years ago, but.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:42 PM on April 3, 2015


Now our battles over "family values" are threatening to kill religious liberty. And liberals do not much seem to care.

Give unto motherfucking Caesar, as the gospels say.
posted by holgate at 9:30 PM on April 3, 2015


$842,637 has been raised so far through the GoFundMe page set up on behalf of Memories Pizza.

Indiana pizza owners in hiding after online trolling [Guardian]

A call for sanity in the matter of Memories Pizza vs. the internet [WaPo]
posted by Little Dawn at 10:57 PM on April 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


The lesson Walker has demonstrated and Pence seems to figuring out is that Liberals/Dems are powerless and can safely be ignored.

I think the takeaway point in comparing the two situations is that the people who cut the checks and basically bankroll conservative politics—business leaders, in large part—don't really give a shit about unions (and have lots of reasons to dislike them), but do have some standards when it comes to what's fair game and what's not. And this crossed a line.

The interesting question is whether they are taking a stand against what amounts to political gay-bashing for purely business reasons (homophobia is clearly not good for business, at least not unless you're a shitty pizzeria), or if it's more of a personal thing. I'm pretty cynical, but I think it's at least partly the latter; to anyone with even a whiff of mainstream cultural awareness, I think it's becoming obvious that the time to get yourself on-record as being on The Right Side of History is rapidly passing. If your idea of "leadership" is jumping in front of a parade and later claiming that everyone followed you, this is a pretty golden opportunity.

Lest anyone's internal cynicism reserves should be too low, however, it's worth remembering that the same business leaders apparently holding the leash have never seen fit to jerk the choke chain around the neck of the Social Conservatives when they were merely nipping at the civil rights of women. (And even now, the "clarified" RFRA will probably, and not coincidentally, leave in place the ability for businesses to push anti-contraception and anti-choice agendas.) Hummm.

But hey, progress of a sort.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:57 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


$842,637 has been raised so far through the GoFundMe page set up on behalf of Memories Pizza.

the family's statements, the trolling, the donations - it's like a perfect storm of stupid combined with the lottery

i was about 12 miles from the place yesterday - the glow of dumbth on the sw horizon was a thing of horror
posted by pyramid termite at 2:44 AM on April 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Indiana needs to balance gay, religious rights

No, you pseudo-persecuted shitheels with a martyr complex, there is no 'balancing' of rights. Your right to be an assbag stops where my life begins.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:23 AM on April 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I looked at that stupid gofundme page last night, I noticed that all of the contributors listed at that time chose to be anonymous. If you're going to take a stand on what you feel is an important social issue and you're willing to back it up with the money in your wallet, why would you want to be anonymous? Because you're a red-neck, white-bread chicken-shit motherfucker, that's why.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:53 AM on April 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Or you're a conservative organization astroturfing with a large donation in $20 chunks.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:56 AM on April 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Which might sound crazy, but the last donation was 14 hours ago. Shouldn't a fundraiser with enough momentum to raise the better part of a million dollars still be going strong at this point?
posted by double block and bleed at 7:34 AM on April 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


When Walmart sided with gay rights by saying that Arkansas’s religious freedom reformation act sends the “wrong message”, it surprised many. [Guardian]
Corporate America has, improbably enough, been stepping in as state legislatures roll back rights for LGBT workers in increasingly aggressive ways: the “boldest” move, Witeck notes, was Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff offering employees $50,000 relocation packages to move from Indiana if they feel uncomfortable.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:37 AM on April 4, 2015


From the NYT Editorial Board:
If corporations and their executives care about civil rights, they should make clear that they will not donate to or support the campaigns of politicians who back such regressive legislation. They certainly shouldn’t back lawmakers like Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, who is running for president and who has been a vocal supporter of the initial versions of the Indiana and Arkansas laws, and Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, who suggested on Wednesday that gays have it pretty good in the United States because they are not executed here as they are in Iran.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:49 AM on April 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Which might sound crazy, but the last donation was 14 hours ago. Shouldn't a fundraiser with enough momentum to raise the better part of a million dollars still be going strong at this point?

I thought that looked weird, too! They closed the donations 14 hours ago and posted a link to next steps: connecting GoFundMe (I almost mistyped GodFundMe, and I almost left it like that) and setting the family up with a financial advisor who will "meet with the family and set them up so that a blessing doesn't become a burden."
posted by mochapickle at 8:25 AM on April 4, 2015




The interesting question is whether they are taking a stand against what amounts to political gay-bashing for purely business reasons (homophobia is clearly not good for business, at least not unless you're a shitty pizzeria), or if it's more of a personal thing.

I think you're missing a third option: If religious exemptions become a real thing in civil law, the results will be unpredictable, to say the least. Big Business does not want basic contract law being fucked with.
posted by PMdixon at 10:16 AM on April 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Humm, yeah, that too. The way the Hobby Lobby crap is shaping up, one bit of fallout is that it could confer an advantage on "closely held" corporations that won't apply to larger corporations, by allowing arbitrarily-defined "closely held" organizations to have religious convictions that exempt them out of stuff, e.g. healthcare coverage requirements. That has to grind Wal-Mart's gears, imagining a hypothetical Christian Scientist retail store that somehow gets out of having to pay health insurance for its employees.

Anything that extends that certainly can't make them happy.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:12 PM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I understand that business is also nervous that laws like this (and the Hobby Lobby decision) might expose the legal construct of the 'corporate veil'. My understanding is (and I'm not remotely a lawyer, so I'd love others who know this stuff better to explain properly) that corporations were created to protect individual shareholder assets from creditors of the corporation. If the people who run corporations can 'reach through that veil' to enforce their beliefs, it implies that the veil is not nearly as impenetrable as previously held, and someone might get the idea that they could reach through in the other direction e.g. creditors could place a claim on the personal assets of the shareholders of failed companies.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 10:16 PM on April 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Religious liberty and the Romance of Orthodoxy, John Holbo
Here it is. You oblige liberalism to produce contradictions between group rights and individual rights, by demanding strong protection for both. Then, when contradictions show up right on schedule, tut-tut about how this disaster goes to show how liberals have become illiberal! (The fools! We warned them!) And then, in the ensuing confusion, you get to have your cake, in the spirit of autonomy, and refuse to serve it to someone else, in the spirit of orthodoxy.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:53 AM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


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