Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Indiana Gov. Reacts to National Pressure
Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana has received unbelievable backlash for signing into law a "religious freedom" bill that grants persons, businesses, and affiliations freedom from government intervention that "substantially burdens" the entity's deeply-held religious beliefs. There are large businesses that are shutting down major projects, states and companies implementing boycotts to Indiana, and even a band performance cancelling as a result of the law.
Supporters of the bill say it was never intended to allow for discrimination against gay people, and that it was modeled after the federal "Religious Freedom Restoration Act". It was meant to be a bill of inclusion. But many of the participants in the signing of the bill are outspoken opponents of LGBT people, and it serves as quite a coincidence that this law is coming in to play only after national wins for LGBT cases, including the one in review by the US Supreme Court that includes Indiana. It is especially suspect since religious people and institutions already have countless protections nationally and in the states.
One can't help but think that conservatives are attempting to not go down without a fight. That it is a desperate attempt to undermine the social progress that so many have worked for.
Arkansas is entertaining a similar, yet more exclusive bill. Politicians have stated their support and intent to keep the language the same with no clarifications to avoid discrimination. If it needs attention, they will "look at it in the next session in two years."
Groups have protested both sides of the issue, especially in Indianapolis, the state capitol. Religions feel they are being picked on--forced to accept what they disagree with. LGBT people are fighting simply for equality and equal protections, especially from religious bigotry.