More Proof: They Really Want To Discriminate Against You, Eight Times Over

Jim Burroway

March 30th, 2015

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) went into full damage control yesterday with an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” George Stephanopoulos asked Pence straight up four times whether an Indiana florist is allowed to discriminate under Indiana’s new law, and six times Pence would not give an answer.

If anyone is asked whether a business is allowed to discriminate four times and he refuses to give answer  four times, you can safely take that answer as a yes. You can be doubly assured of that because Stephanopoulos asked four more questions about whether Pence would pursue protections for LGBT Hoosiers. Pence was a bit more direct about that. That answer is no.

Mark F.

March 30th, 2015

IN never had anti-discrimination laws which included gays, so how does this bill change anything? It’s not like you couldn’t discriminate before and now you can. Why no outrage and calls for boycotts of IN before?


March 30th, 2015

Mark, have you read this?

Mark F.

March 30th, 2015

Ok, so this could impact the localities that already have anti-discrimination laws. Otherwise, it will make no difference.

Priya Lynn

March 30th, 2015

Other than the people it affects it doesn’t affect anyone.

Chris McCoy

March 30th, 2015

These laws are widely seen as being preemptive of a SCOTUS ruling in favor of Marriage Equality nationwide.


March 30th, 2015

Mark F, the localities with existing ordinances include the largest city in the state as well as a number of smaller cities.

For example, according to the first cited article, “Under the city’s [Indianapolis] existing ordinance, […] a gay couple who are refused service at a restaurant could file an administrative complaint under the human rights ordinance, which then triggers an administrative process.” However, “a provision in the [new state] bill says that no local law can be ‘exempt”‘from the new ‘religious freedom’ rules unless a state law explicitly exempts it. In other words, the legislature might have to approve any workarounds the city comes up with.”

Jim Burroway

March 30th, 2015

Three counties and ten cities have various levels of protections covering LGB (and sometimes T) people. Those jurisdictions make up 1.8 million Indiana residents, or 28% of the total population.

The RFRA expansively defines a “person” as just about anyone, whether they are an individual, organization, corporation, etc. The new law also covers lawsuits between two parties even if the State is not a party in the lawsuit. Which means that an employer who fires someone for creating a hostile work environment for LGBT employees may find himself sued if the fired employee created that hostile environment “for religious reasons.”

But other than all that, it makes no difference.

Mark F.

March 30th, 2015

@Jim. Am I correct in assuming that a oourt would still have to adjudicate whether or not a person’s “sincere religious beliefs” were in fact being violated or burdened? It’s unclear how this law will actually play out.

Patrick Hogan

March 30th, 2015

There is some ambiguity in how the law will be applied, depending on how the courts rule (primarily in whether they consider preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to be a “compelling” state interest tailored to have a narrow impact on religious expression). But the intent of the law’s supporters is clear, since many–including those present at the private signing–have expressly stated that it would allow florists/bakers and the like to refuse service to same sex couples. Further, the lack of state level protection against sexual orientation discrimination lends credence to the idea that preventing such discrimination is not a compelling interest in the state of Indiana, even more so if the state government sides with the florist/baker/etc. (as Pence seems prone to do if a claim artists while he is still in office).

Sir Andrew

March 30th, 2015

From my upcoming book “Rhetorical Ships That Have Sailed”

“Um…excuse me, George, but I was only given one thing to say at today’s interview. Could you please help a fellow out and ask a question that my statement is an actual answer to? Ya, know, my Mom’s watching and I don’t want to look stupid.”


March 30th, 2015

And now Rubio is now going on TV and saying the laws allows for discrimation of gay married couples by florists and bakers, but doesn’t allow discrimation of gay people by restaurant and hotel owners. What’s the distinction, and where is that distinction made in the law, you might ask? Well, nobody asked Rubio.

Richard Rush

March 31st, 2015

I continue to believe that, in the wake of almost all the marriage bans being overturned, these RFRA laws are less about enabling actual discrimination, and more about pandering to Christianist voters by having government restore the officially sanctioned message that persecution of gay people is the correct and morally upright thing to do. But, as Indiana discovered, it’s becoming an increasingly difficult balancing act to satisfy the Christianists while avoiding the expressions of outrage by others in an increasingly enlightened society.

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