There’s absolutely no doubt what the intent of Indiana’s “religious freedom” law was, or why Indiana’s Republican legislature and governor enacted it. The push for the law came from social conservatives who want to be legally shielded from lawsuits when they discriminate against LGBT people; or, as CNN more politely puts it, “insulated them from the gay rights movement.” But in America’s changing social culture, it was a bridge too far.
Indiana’s political leaders, finally recognizing they must choose between Indiana’s economy and legalizing discrimination against gays, are backing down.
Note spelling of “learners”
While they won’t repeal the law, as demanded by the state’s tiny Democratic legislative caucus, they’ve agreed to add language prohibiting businesses from using it as a legal defense against discrimination claims for refusing “to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing” based on “race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.” (The “United States military service” is a nice face-saving touch, no?)
The social conservatives are livid. That’s their problem. They can stew in it. They’ve got it coming.
Note spelling of “morons”
This tweak doesn’t, per se, expand Indiana’s state anti-discrimination laws to include LGBTs. (Some Indiana cities do have local ordinances that include gay people.) But it uses “sexual orientation” in a state law for the first time, and the Republican legislators engineering the “fix” to the “religious freedom” law suggest “that debate is coming soon,” according to CNN.
Of course, no one should trust them on this. They could enact such protections right now, in the revisions to the “religious freedom” law, if they chose. Not doing so manifests the continuance of their original bad faith in enacting that law in the first place. We should assume they will do no more than absolutely necessary to tamp down the firestorm that law ignited, and that they’re hoping they can put out the fire by tweaking that law, and then sit on their hands and wait for the impetus for broader protections for Indiana’s gays to die down with the passage of time.
It’s up to us, and the business community, to make sure they don’t get away with that by keeping their feet to the fire.
Image: What they’ve wrought: One day after announcing they would not cater gay weddings, Memories Pizza is just a memory after its owner announced yesterday he will lock its doors. The power of public outrage is not to be underestimated.
Why Gay People Need to Use Christian Bakeries
Commentary by David Preston
Non-Christians and straight people alike have a hard time understanding the gay wedding cake issue. Even gay-friendly straight folks don’t get it. They think it’s about non-discrimination, but it’s not really about that at all. It’s about acceptance. Non-discrimination and acceptance are two very different things.
Understandably, gay couples don’t just want to be married; they want social approval of their marital status. Unfortunately, to get that, some gays feel that they… need to go after those who are least likely to give that approval. In other words: conservative Christians. And that is why, if there are two bakers in town, and one is gay and one is Christian, the gay couple looking for approval will always ask the Christian baker bake their wedding cake for them.
Christians, for their part, know that approval is what gays want. And they know that weddings are an area in which they can withhold their approval in a symbolically powerful way. So withhold it they do!
Picture this: A couple come into a bakery and order a wedding cake. They’re not noticeably a couple, so if it was any other occasion, the baker wouldn’t even know the cake was for them. But as soon as they tell the baker to write “Dave & Jeff Forever” on the cake, that changes everything.
Ridiculous, no? Yes . . . in every other context but this one.
The baker proposes a compromise, knowing full well that it will be rejected: How about I give you the cake and you put the lettering and figurines on it yourself? I’ll drop it off at your house and you can take it to the wedding. I’ll give you a discount over my normal rate. Just don’t tell me about your marriage, because I don’t want to know.
NO! Not good enough! replies the couple. We want YOU to put the lettering and figurines on, and we’re going to sit here and watch while you do it. We wan’t to make damn sure you recognize our marriage and treat us just like every other married couple.
So now we’re at an impasse. The couple might be able to take the matter to court and force the baker to comply or close down. But in so doing they will be reminded that the Christian baker is far from being a lone hold-out and that there are, in fact, millions of other Americans who disapprove of their marriage as well. Oh my. That’s not very romantic, is it?
At this point, the battle might not seem as provident to either side as it did at the outset. But then, you know what they say about cake, don’t you?
Rioting in Kentucky! But no one is shot by the police.
“For the second year in a row, Kentucky has been bounced from the NCAA tournament. And, for the second year in a row, riots broke out on and off campus in Lexington. As fires blazed in the middle of the street, citizens burned lawn chairs, shirts and other items in protest of their loss. … Several students were injured as bottles were thrown and a few were burned. … Fires broke out throughout state street in Kentucky, with students chanting “Fuck that Shit” while throwing items and causing a disturbance.”
But it’s okay, it’s just white college kids mourning their basketball team’s loss in the NCAA finals. Move along, nothing to see here.