Indiana and the public sphere
April 6, 2015 7:45 AM   Subscribe

 
"It’s also shown, though, that there’s no broad coalition to defend the principle of equality. They attack it piecemeal — and we defend it the same way."

Man, ain't that the truth?
posted by Seamus at 8:11 AM on April 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


There are many cogently explained arguments in here. Arguments that fail in internet and real world discussions because the GRAAAR always drowns out actual discussions. Well . . . most places anyway.
posted by Seamus at 8:13 AM on April 6, 2015


It explicitly lets for-profit businesses claim rights based on “the free exercise of religion.”

This essay gives us Lilliputian imagery: little ants chewing away at common sense, and eventually they will eat us all. Or worse, the image of businesses gaining a dim flicker of AI consciousness, where every endeavor is a religion and hate crimes are redefined as expressions of free speech. Big Brother is a chain of hamburger joints.

Two steps forward, two steps back. We are doomed to ride the pendulum, it seems, until we finally commit the error that sends us over the edge. I'm thinking the reactionaries will win, or at least prevail, until some hero comes along who will show us the way out.

Wait, that plot is already taken, and it didn't work out all that well.
posted by mule98J at 8:38 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: because the GRAAAR always drowns out actual discussions
posted by Fizz at 9:10 AM on April 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


The Indiana outrage has shown that lots of Americans will stand up for LGBT rights, even as lots of others oppose them. It’s also shown, though, that there’s no broad coalition to defend the principle of equality.

I know this is supposed to outrage us ("Grrrr, why doesn't anybody love equality like I do!") but isn't the problem with abstract ideals like "equality" that the devil always is in the details? I mean, the point about the Federal RFRA is that it was a sop to liberals, not to the Religious Right. It was liberals who were outraged that native Americans weren't being allowed to practice their religious freedom to take peyote.

I know we all like to think that there are nice, clear bright lines between the "freedoms" and "equalities" we prize and those we think are clearly subordinate to other people's "freedoms" and "equalities" but in practice they're always going to be fuzzy--they can only be clarified case by case, specific instance by specific instance. For many Americans in the early C19th there was simply no felt contradiction between declaring America a country of "free men" and practicing chattel slavery. Getting people to agree to broad "principles" of equality, freedom and so forth is actually the easy part of the process. Getting people to agree what "equality" or "freedom" means is a hard, case by case slog.
posted by yoink at 10:02 AM on April 6, 2015 [23 favorites]


Excellent essay, thank you for linking it
posted by sotonohito at 10:15 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The gays treat reproductive rights as irrelevant; they had little or nothing to say about Hobby Lobby.

Hah, no. Actually, "the gays", as the writer so kindly describes us, expressed many concerns about the Hobby Lobby ruling, but the driving narrative was about reproductive rights, and members of the GLBT community just aren't as visible in the media the writer likely consumes.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:37 AM on April 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


"the gays", as the writer so kindly describes us,

He's also referring to himself there.
posted by yoink at 10:43 AM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


We Hoosiers deserve all the shit the rest of ya'll can throw our way... keep it coming, so we can force a change for the better.
posted by MikeWarot at 10:52 AM on April 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


This was very interesting, thank you.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:55 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great article. Love the treatment on "Public Accommodations" and it's discussion of the concept of the public sphere.

"the gays", as the writer so kindly describes us,

He's also referring to himself there.


Not everyone who's gay or queer or somewhere else on the spectrum identifies primarily with the GLBT community. In fact, some curmudgeonly iconoclasts out there don't really like the idea of group identity at all and prefer to view their primary identity group as "human." But is that even allowed anymore? Don't mean to start a thing, just something that's been nagging at me recently.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:57 AM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not everyone who's gay or queer or somewhere else on the spectrum identifies primarily with the GLBT community.

True enough. But here's a helpful snippet from the author's "about me" page:
I helped found LGBT groups in both Romania and Hungary. In 1997, I finally moved back to the United States, and joined the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), first as advocacy director, later as program director.

This part goes more quickly (see Things I Wrote for the visible spoor). At IGLHRC, I spent five years lobbying the United Nations on sexual rights issues, together with grassroots LGBT activists from the global South. That work led to U.N. human rights mechanisms agreeing publicly, for the first time ever, to take up lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people’s concerns.

In 2003, I joined Human Rights Watch, and in the following year I became founding director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program, which I created. During my time there our budget quadrupled, and our staff quintupled. Our work led to the end of a massive crackdown on gay men in Egypt. I helped develop the Yogyakarta Principles, a groundbreaking summation of how international human rights law protected sexual orientation and gender identity. Our documentation and advocacy supported causes from Honduras to Iraq, from the United States to Cameroon.
posted by yoink at 11:16 AM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


they can only be clarified case by case, specific instance by specific instance.

No, they really can't. "You are not allowed to discriminate against queer people. That's it. Nope, can't do that, or that, just shut up and stop doing it."

There's no fuzziness here. None. There's no 'case by case' clarification of discrimination when it comes to racism--it's not allowed, full stop, get over it. What you're saying is that the people who want to discriminate demand case-by-case clarification, because that lets them keep discriminating.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:20 AM on April 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


Generally a very good summary of the law; not without the author's editorializing.

[RFRA]’s drafters evidently didn’t envision it could permit actions harming others or restricting their rights — for instance, otherwise unlawful discrimination. ... Constitutional lawyer Marci Hamilton writes, “Civil rights groups were blind (or deceived) … when the first RFRA was enacted.” Even Congress closed its eyes to what was coming.

This is not true, as yoink points out. And none of the politicians who've always been at war with East Asia supporters of gay rights were supporters back then.

There's no 'case by case' clarification of discrimination when it comes to racism--it's not allowed, full stop, get over it.

Also not true. Affirmative action and quota systems are discrimination based on race. Is that allowed under your model?
posted by resurrexit at 11:24 AM on April 6, 2015


FFF--I took yoink's point to be there are a lot more subtle cases that arise when you're committed to really big ideas like "equality" in the abstract. That doesn't mean there aren't ways to define specific goals more clearly, just that there's a lot of work that has to be done to tease out all the implications of such a commitment in a lot of more specific cases. But maybe that's my misread.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:27 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


These two paragraphs are quite frank about the hypocrisy of corporate support for gay rights:
Why are the gays ecstatic when corporations side with us? True, their clout makes a difference when properly put to use: the ebb of investment forced Indiana’s [Arkansas'?] governor into full retreat. But it’s opportunistic friendship they’re offering, not a marriage proposal. Apple and Walmart object to religious-discrimination laws because they know it’s good business to be open to all consumers. But none of them complained about the Hobby Lobby decision, which quashed a requirement to give workers benefits. Those cost money. Tim Cook wrote no op-eds defending women’s rights to birth control.

Corporations may sometimes use their power for human rights, but corporate power is still a problem. And when Tim Cook intones “we will never tolerate discrimination,” he’s making a sales pitch, not a promise. Apple benefits plenty from inequalities in the labor market. There’s a reason it subcontracts work to high-tech sweatshops in China, where the wages are risible, the exploitation rife.
Not to mention Apple doing business in/with countries where homosexuals are executed!
posted by resurrexit at 11:34 AM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is not true, as yoink points out.

Garrett Epps at The Atlantic (among others) has pointed out the myriad ways that the current spate of "religious liberty" laws differ substantially from the federal RFRA. Not to mention the fact that all of the most recent ones involved the bill's supporters explicitly removing LGBT protections (or, as in Georgia's case, saying that including them would render the bill pointless).

Not that this should come as surprise, mind you. It took something like 48 hours before the conservatives on SCOTUS went back on their word that Hobby Lobby wouldn't be used in a discriminatory fashion and/or in support of favoring religious groups. One good thing to come out of this debacle has been the fact that whinging about "religious freedom" or "religious liberty" has been unmasked as being all about persecuting others for who they are, and not at all about being persecuted for one's beliefs.

Not to mention Apple doing business in/with countries where homosexuals are executed!

And on the other side of the coin, we have people like Tom Cotton and Mike Huckabee, who claim that just because LGBT people aren't being beaten or murdered, it's hypocritical of Walmart et al to speak out against the religious right's desire to discriminate against them. Especially when they blame it on "militant homosexuals" engaged in nefarious backroom deals. Neither is pretty, but I'd prefer that corporations err on the side of not discriminating, which puts them light-years ahead of those that think treating LGBT people (or PoC, or women) as second-class citizens is totes awesome.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:04 PM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


It seems like it should be okay for a visible gay American citizen like Tim Cook to comment on how un-American such religious laws are, particularly as 1) those laws affect him directly, and, 2) he is in a position to speak out about them, which is a privilege not enjoyed by most GLBT Americans. I'm glad to have someone like him on my side, anyway, and upsetting Fox News consumers is just gravy.

I guess I just don't subscribe to the Fox News Business editorial policy that Cook is a bigot, quote-unquote, for not being able to influence policy in countries where he has relatively little influence. Apple pulling out of those markets would do nothing, really, as much as the civil rights of citizens of Saudi Arabia and Egypt et al are improved by having access to broader technology options. Cook can't do much to change their culture overnight, ultimately, and any real change to the policies of those countries will have to come from within.

People who call him a bigot or use similar coded language expose themselves as pretty sheltered, silly people who usually have some other axe to grind, in any case, whether it is having a problem with his company or the fact that he is an unapologetic gay man leading the most successful company in the world, or simply that he is an unapologetic gay man, which is usually the "worst" crime.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:11 PM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Especially when they blame it on "militant homosexuals" engaged in nefarious backroom deals.

Actually, it would be one thing if Huckabee and the like claimed that the militant homosexual lobby were engaging in shadowy backroom deals, which might actually force them to provide evidence to support that claim. What they claim is even more ridiculous, which is that the militant homosexual lobby has no need to engage in backroom deals, since they have accumulated so much power and influence that they can openly demand with impunity the shutting down of churches and the untrammeled persecution of the religious.
posted by blucevalo at 12:12 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


“the free exercise of religion” is one of the least recognized Oxymorons in the English Language. The moment you commit yourself to a Religion, you abandon your rights in a wide variety of significant areas to your Deity - and more directly to the authorities 'speaking for' that Deity. And that mindset inevitably radiates outward toward society as a whole, resulting in a deep desire to avoid people who are doing the things Your God does not allow you to do. And that is the very essence of laws like the Indiana one. And when someone claims that it's impossible to live a moral life without God looking over your shoulder, I see someone who wishes Their God would give them the OK to murder me in cold blood for being so heathen.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:42 PM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


What they claim is even more ridiculous, which is that the militant homosexual lobby has no need to engage in backroom deals, since they have accumulated so much power and influence that they can openly demand with impunity the shutting down of churches and the untrammeled persecution of the religious.
Ridiculous? That won't happen on a wide scale for at least five years, maybe even ten. Can't vouch for that website, which seems pretty dumb--it was just the first story that came up about a pastor in a liberal Western country being arrested based on the content of a sermon, and strike the shepherd, scatter the sheep and all....

Your side is so convinced that it's right there is literally no way people who believe otherwise will be allowed to exist apart from reservations. Where else will these people hide? Public figures lose nothing by joining your cause, and thus can wade in wrapped in the flag while risking nothing. Even shameless spot-changers like Obama and the Clintons are given a pass. You've got the corporations (and thus access to employment and the economy), which means you've got the government, which means you've got the law; and you've got academia, which means you've got the schools, which means you've got the minds of the people. Hell, you've even got 75% of the churches.

Can you seriously doubt that you're holding all the power?
posted by resurrexit at 2:16 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Scott Long is a far left "queer anti-capitalist anarchist" whose schtick is blaming western gay men for every sin in the world - he was fired from HRC because of his bizarre pro-iranian apologetics and his attack on western gay activists. He pipes up whenever he can to distract attention from the right and somehow blame gay men for somehow either being too right wing (i.e., not being sufficiently queer, anti-essentialist, or anti-capitalist, etc.) or being too left wing (identity politics are destroying the left, etc.).
posted by ugalaw97 at 2:23 PM on April 6, 2015


Yes - those evil gays hold all the power...same old homophobic shit coming from the far left and the far right...
posted by ugalaw97 at 2:25 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I suppose there's some silver lining from this Indiana/Arkansas/state RFRA debacle. Now that corporate policy is whole-hog for the tenets of modern liberal ideology, the Republican Party will hilariously (perhaps even Hillary-slouy) speed to its demise. Which party guest will the power-drunk Republican politician go home with now that Nixon's coalition is coming to an end---the globalist plutocrat in the fancy car or the despised social issues voter in a dirty minivan? What an easy choice....
posted by resurrexit at 2:26 PM on April 6, 2015


Hell, you've even got 75% of the churches.

So 3 out of 4 churches recognize that hate speech doesn't need to be part of Christianity. That's not 'shutting down churches', that's 'churches not catering to knuckle-dragging regressive cretins'. I get that knuckle-dragging regressive cretins love them some hatred, but oh well too bad for them.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:41 PM on April 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


"Can you seriously doubt that you're holding all the power?"

That was ten years ago, and he made legitimately slanderous statements in it about gay marriage leading to incest, pedophilia, and child molestation, and yet EVEN THEN he was acquitted, and the church is still there, and, and, and...
posted by Evilspork at 2:46 PM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Your side is so convinced that it's right there is literally no way people who believe otherwise will be allowed to exist apart from reservations.

This is why there's no bigotry of any other type either, right? Why all the white supremacists etc have been put into camps?

You seem to be conflating belief and action. No one cares what you believe. We care how you act upon those beliefs.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:54 PM on April 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm getting really tired of trying to explain to conservatives why they're wrong on this issue.

Ressurexit, if you've got some ideas on where we can locate those reservations for the remaining wrong-headed conservatives to live out the remainder of their days without bothering the rest of us, I think we should gather that list of locations.
posted by Revvy at 3:15 PM on April 6, 2015


But resurrexit, when we die you're going to go on to live eternally with God, in a heaven completely from from the godless heathens. Why would you care who holds earthly power?
posted by benito.strauss at 3:20 PM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Arizona and Florida. Duh Revvy.
posted by Max Power at 3:21 PM on April 6, 2015


Arizona's a good idea, Max, but I think Florida may already be above quota from all of the climate change deniers.
posted by Revvy at 3:26 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't get married to another woman in my home state or my state of residence. I can legally be fired for being a queer female. There are people who exist that think I should be murdered in cold blood just for being queer.

So no, I don't particularly feel like I have even a little bit of power. I don't really believe in the wholesale shutting down of churches or the banishment of bigoted conservatives to remote, isolated climes, but goddamn if I don't have days where I find that vision attractive, and those usually occur when some nitwit with power is trying to make people believe I don't deserve equal rights and treatment just because I, a woman, am attracted to women.
posted by angeline at 3:41 PM on April 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


Ridiculous? That won't happen on a wide scale for at least five years, maybe even ten.

Or in the US ever, except for the limited contexts of pastors who manage to successfully incite a riot and the occasional locality that passes a law that's struck down as soon as it's enforced. I mean, really, the case law on this is rock fucking solid and the decisions are almost always 8-1 or 9-0. Pretending that this would happen in the US is just delusional. It's like worrying that sentient termites are going to eat your churches or that Bigfoot is going to infiltrate the Vatican and become Pope.

What I'll grant you is that views on homosexuality are changing. It used to be the case that homosexuality was seen as sufficiently weirdo and creepy that people could reasonably assert that they shouldn't have to put up with shit like that so keep it private. In a while, I expect that you're right that objecting to homosexuality or being publicly bothered by homosexuality will be seen as something weirdo and creepy enough that people assert they shouldn't have to put up with that shit so keep it private, in much the same way that objecting to interracial relationships or being publicly bothered by a black man kissing a white woman is seen now.

It won't ever be criminal, in the same way that speaking out against race-mixing isn't criminal, just gross. But, yeah, it'll likely be something that harms your social reputation and might make it marginally harder to find employment.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:47 PM on April 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


Your side is so convinced that it's right there is literally no way people who believe otherwise will be allowed to exist apart from reservations. Where else will these people hide?

I'm not even Native American and I find your language offensive. That aside, no one is putting you into political re-education camps over holding odious and bigoted views.

Public figures lose nothing by joining your cause, and thus can wade in wrapped in the flag while risking nothing. Even shameless spot-changers like Obama and the Clintons are given a pass.

If you want a real understanding of how polarizing a notion it is to treat gay people like humans, consider how many and how quickly Republican presidential candidates rallied to defend Indiana with the same shamefully dishonest talking points: "This is about religious liberty and not about attacking gay people. You just misunderstand the law. Etc."

That's even though noted anti-gay activists worked hard for the law's passage and were standing behind Governor Pence when he put his signature on it.

The ink wasn't even dry, before one Indiana business publicly advocated for discrimination against gay customers and was rewarded financially for it.

The idea that you are in any way persecuted for your beliefs is a bitter joke.

When we try taking our business elsewhere, instead of being called patriotic, capitalist Americans who are proponents of a free marketplace of ideas, we get called bullies, faggots, and worse by right-wing bigots both inside and outside the media, at all levels of society.

Can you seriously doubt that you're holding all the power?

You want to discriminate against us while deciding when and how you steal money out of our pocket, at the same time, and various state governments seem actively willing to help you do this.

When your side is criticized for it, you lie about being oppressed and then tell us on-air that at least we don't live in a country where we get hung from lampposts, yet, as if that is some kind of consolation for what you're doing.

As evil as your actions are, I'd say you're doing just fine.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:17 PM on April 6, 2015 [15 favorites]


ressurexit: Even shameless spot-changers like Obama and the Clintons are given a pass.

It's called change for the better.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:27 PM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


You've got the corporations (and thus access to employment and the economy)

What, like the Corleones?

As a gay Canadian, what I have is the fact the Supreme Court ruled in 1995 and 1998 that sexual orientation is "analogous grounds" for protection from discrimination in employment and/or benefits (private or public) under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (i.e., the Constitution) and therefore illegal.

In the US, what you have is a situation in which only a few states have laws that protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Many large US corporations and smaller companies alike have opted to provide benefits to same-sex partners/spouses, or have robust antidiscrimination policies, but by and large, they are not required to do that, depending on the jurisdiction.

Therefore, the statement that LGBT Americans have access to employment as some fait accompli is simply not accurate, allowing that YMMV depending on the state in which you live and/or the employer in question.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:46 PM on April 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'd add to my above comment that sexual orientation was deemed by the Supreme Court of Canada "analogous" for protection from discrimination to the protected category of...

...wait for it...

*drumroll*

*fierce drag queens belting out "I Will Survive"*

*more drumroll*

...religion!

*noisemakers and ticker tape*
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:02 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Your side is so convinced that it's right

That's because we are. Once again, you can think whatever you want. You cannot behave however you want. Get. The hell. Over. It.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:05 PM on April 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


resurrexit: Your side is so convinced that it's right there is literally no way people who believe otherwise will be allowed to exist apart from reservations.

You're kidding, right?
posted by brundlefly at 5:10 PM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I mean seriously, are there reservations for the KKK?

Because being queer is no different than being a person of colour. You don't get to treat us differently and I give zero fucks about your beliefs. As far as I'm concerned, if your beliefs tell you that you can treat an entire group as less than human--that is, without equality, which is the same thing--then there is something seriously fucking wrong with your beliefs. But hey--you can keep believing them.

You cannot be allowed to act on them. Go read Animal Farm again; some animals are not more equal than others.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:18 PM on April 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


The best part of what has been happening over the last few years is a march towards equality. The second best part is watching the religious bigots start to squirm as they realize that they are losing and will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history. It's beautiful. I just hope they don't do too much damage with their temper tantrum-like death throes.
posted by Justinian at 5:31 PM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I'm bemused by the tendency of certain culturally-regressive Christians to frame themselves as martyrs, always just a few steps away from being fed to the lions by some atheist LGBT abortion-celebrating cabal.

But then I compare this fantasy of persecution to the reality faced by my family, my friends, my trans community.

A couple of months ago a trans woman friend in a small local community finally came out to her father and brothers, who promptly all joined together in beating her up. Someone heard her screaming and called the cops, who, when they found out she was trans, arrested her as the "instigator." Meanwhile, we couldn't possibly count the number of times my trans wife has been harassed, spat at, had bottles thrown at her from moving cars, been curb crawled by the local police and questioned about why she would be out walking after dark if she was not soliciting sex, been threatened, been groped by strangers, and had parents yank their children away from her.

Or then there's my friend, a trans woman Anglican priest, who was kicked out of her volunteer ministry work with drug-addicted homeless people when she came out. Living under a vow of poverty and with little to call her own in the material sense, she still puts money in the cups of street people regularly, even though in return at times she is spat at or called a "tranny freak."

And you know what? Even though we are living with no protection from discrimination, and even facing all of this toxic transphobia and transmisogyny, none of the three women I've just mentioned would describe themselves as martyrs facing lions. Each of them would tell you they are really sick of dealing with all of this crap, but that they are doing their best to keep on keeping on, living their truth and trying to help their siblings do the same.

And in this context, the martyrdom complex of certain Christian transphobic, homophobic champions of patriarchy does not bemuse me. It strikes me instead as a delusion both pathetic and ominous.
posted by DrMew at 6:34 PM on April 6, 2015 [35 favorites]


man, I feel at times like maybe there are two different Jesuses out there or something

like

one of them is based on the Jesus in the bible, and he's all about helping people out and not having judgement and treating women like people and just generally being an all-'round not-a-dick

and the other one is apparently based on a bible that isn't in the bible, and he's apparently all about public displays of religiosity and wielding religious majority like a weapon and oh wait never mind that's the Pharisees that Jesus was all the time taking down a notch

so I guess both sides are, technically, represented within the new testament then after all
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:50 PM on April 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


Can you seriously doubt that you're holding all the power?

A majority of states offer no protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There is no federal law prohibiting employers from discriminating against potential hires or employees on sexual orientation and gender identity. It is still legal to craft legislation, like Indiana and Georgia and others do, that allows discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

So yes, I can doubt that very easily, because that's the reality of the situation.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:01 AM on April 7, 2015 [8 favorites]




I just hope they don't do too much damage with their temper tantrum-like death throes.

Some are throwing a few punches on the way down, if the FBI's hate crime stats are any indication.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:28 AM on April 7, 2015


I don't know what the people in this thread are talking about -- it is clearly the case that certain religious groups are being directly prevented from exercising their religious convictions in this country.

For instance, my own church, the Episcopal Church, would like to be able to celebrate marriages between two persons of the same sex in Indiana, but the government won't let us.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:51 AM on April 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


For instance, my own church, the Episcopal Church, would like to be able to celebrate marriages between two persons of the same sex in Indiana, but the government won't let us.

Yes it will. I take your general point, but Indiana is not the example you are looking for.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:14 AM on April 7, 2015


Voters strip LGBT rights in Springfield, MO. Look at the gays wielding all that power.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:33 AM on April 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


To further underscore the absurdity of "Your side is so convinced that it's right there is literally no way people who believe otherwise will be allowed to exist apart from reservations," I'd add that the Westboro Baptist Church (link is to the Wikipedia page on them, not their website) is still in operation, still picketing funerals and generally being a deranged but organized hate group.

We try to keep them out of our country, but they're still freely operating and speechifying in yours.

Hell, they still even have their tax-exempt status as a church even though people tried to get that revoked when WBC threatened to picket the funerals of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. I mean, even Bill O'Reilly thinks they're assholes.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:34 AM on April 8, 2015 [2 favorites]




Tara Culp-Ressler: This Could Be The Next Victim Of ‘Religious Liberty’
If the House Oversight Committee has its way, D.C. will not be allowed to enact a law approved last year that “expands discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination based upon the reproductive health decisions of an employee, their spouse, or their dependent.” House Republicans scheduled a vote this week on a resolution that would “disapprove” the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 (RHNDA).

In practical terms, RHNDA would prevent D.C. bosses from retaliating against their workers for making health decisions they may not personally agree with. For instance, it would prevent religious employers from firing female employees who use contraception or become pregnant outside of marriage.

But right-wing groups aren’t happy about it. In February, leaders from several conservative groups — including the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America — sent a letter to House members arguing that the new law will prevent faith-based and pro-life organizations from “making employment decisions consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs or their moral and ethical views about the sanctity of human life.” That letter pressured Congress to intervene and upend RHNDA.

The arguments against RHNDA serve as a reminder that political fights over “religious liberty” often stem from efforts to roll back women’s access to basic health care. Over the past several decades, states have quietly expanded the scope of their religious liberty laws to allow medical professionals to refuse to provide health services that they oppose on religious grounds — and now, thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling, this framework threatens to be extended to employers.
The ACLU notes that this resolution would also function as an anti-LGBT law.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:09 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


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