Georgia, are you watching what’s happening in Indiana?

Gov. Mike Pense of Indiana

Gov. Mike Pense of Indiana

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, an ardent champion of his state’s newly passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is now backpedaling faster than an NFL cornerback. Earlier today, he publicly pledged to take immediate steps to ensure that the law that he just signed can never used to justify or legalize discrimination against gay Americans.

And by immediate steps, I mean immediate.

“After much reflection and in consultation with leadership in the General Assembly, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone,” the stridently conservative Pence told a press conference.

“No one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love or what they believe,” he said, sounding for all the world like a mainstream Democrat.

We still don’t know exactly what the proposed new law will say, but according to Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, the new language should be ready to go by the end of the day. That pace of legislation is remarkable, and it reflects just how serious the issue has become. Businesses were pulling out of Indiana; national boycotts were being organized. Even NASCAR issued a condemnatory statement, saying it is “disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance.”

Finally aware just how out of step they had become with the national mainstream, Indiana leaders folded. As the Indianapolis Star reports:

When asked whether Christian businesses should be compelled to supply services to gay and lesbian weddings, Pence answered: “I don’t support discrimination against anyone.”

“I don’t support discrimination against gays and lesbians or anyone else. I abhor discrimination.”

It’s important to note just how complete Pence’s retreat really is. He now claims that he does not support legislation allowing anti-gay discrimination, yet he has a long history in Congress of doing exactly that. At last week’s private signing ceremony for the RFRA bill, he invited officials of groups that bitterly oppose gay-rights legislation and gay marriage to join him in celebrating its passage. He knew exactly what he was doing, and what he was doing was exactly the opposite of what he now claims to believe.

In addition, Republican leaders in the Indiana Legislature were repeatedly offered amendments that would have made it clear that the bill was not intended to legalize anti-gay discrimination, and they repeatedly refused to include those amendments. Now, after doing considerable damage to their state and their party, they will try to do exactly what they had refused to do earlier.

You really really really have to hope that Georgia leaders are watching events as they play out in Indiana, and are learning the appropriate lessons. Like their Hoosier counterparts, they too have tried to block amendments intended to make it clear that a Georgia RFRA would not protect anti-gay discrimination. Like Pence and other Indiana leaders, they too have tried to play cute about its real impact while winking and nodding to anti-gay groups excited about its potential passage.

In fact, Indiana is about one week farther down the very same road that Georgia has been traveling, a road leading to the very same destination. To now continue down that path, knowing where it will take us, would be deeply irresponsible.

In fact, I think this moment may prove to be truly historic. It’s as clear a statement as possible about the national mood regarding gay rights, and about the lack of remaining patience with those who would still try to justify anti-gay bigotry, either directly or indirectly. The Republican Party nationwide — not just in Georgia, but nationwide — had better adjust its message accordingly or reap the bitterness that it sows.

Reader Comments 0

676 comments
jerryeads
jerryeads

Poad - Bigots come in all flavors. Elected good ole backwoods redneck white boys find every way they can to pass bigot bills, but none of us should ever claim perfection. Perhaps you needn't toss stones either. So is "Shoebat" a subsidiary of Fox News? Is there a possibility that this didn't reach mainstream media because there might be some "reporting bias"?

Hanoveur
Hanoveur

We have major studios making films and TV shows here.   Something like the RFRA would probably be the fastest way to get them to leave.

GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

I hope the Georgia legislature passes their RFRA and Nathan Deal signs it ASAP! It would be nice to see all those folks on the hot seat.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Pretty good take on cakes, that's been kicking 'round the Webs the past few days, don't think I saw it posted here.


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/10-situations-where-christian-bakers-should-refuse-to-bake-wedding-cakes/

Here are the other ten areas where I hope we can all band together and start standing up for our right to be biblically consistent in who we discriminate against– let us be bold! Effective immediately, we need to smile and say “no cake for you!” to the following ten people:


(Number 5 might be my favorite.)

Kamchak
Kamchak

Transportation bill SHEETZ!

Paul42
Paul42

"Religious Freedom Restoration Act "


Only something that's been taken away can be restored.

Help me out here, conservative supporters of the Act.  

What was lost/taken away?

How does the Act restore it?

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Paul42 Their right to sit at the front of the bus they wouldn't dare take now because they're positive only "those people" ride the bus.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Paul42

What was lost/taken away?

Pretty sure it wasn't Georgians of American Indian descent and their right to use peyote on vision quests, but I could be wrong.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@LeninTime I'm thinking it's time for us to walk away for a little while and turn the screws a little further.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@ByteMe @LeninTime That might work if we were the only party other than Iran at the table.  If we find ourselves the only party willing to walk away, then we might find ourselves out in the cold as far as getting an acceptable deal goes.


And then it would be back to square one.


Paul42
Paul42

@LeninTime

Nonono.  You've been reading the posts.  Can't you get anything right?

Obama already has a deal.  He did it himself, no other countries besides Iran involved.  It's a secret deal and nothing's in writing.  There is no verification, sanctions will end and it guarantees Iran will build a nuke.

Please try to keep up with the latest truths, okay?

DunwoodyGranny
DunwoodyGranny

Okay, I admit I haven't looked at this from the other side as thoroughly as maybe I should. Can someone please tell me what Christian values are at stake here other than the right to discriminate against the LGBT community?

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@DunwoodyGranny From Kyle's blog, he says it's to define a "better legal line" than the current law outlines. 


While that may be true, way too many supporters of the bill seem to think it's a way for them to discriminate against gays. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

To summarize--Our righties seem to be in 

deep denial over the ease with which gays can be fired in America; and

deep delusion over the likelihood that any religious leader anywhere would ever be compelled legally to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony against his wishes.

...have I missed anything, or is that about it?

ByteMe
ByteMe

@_GodlessHeathen_ yes and no.  You cannot summarily terminate protected classes of people because they are in that protected class without a potential EEOC action.  Not true for gays.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I realize the "our righties" usage was a tad broad-brush--several right leaners here are rational enough to see past the denial/delusion cited. Apologies. Should've conditioned it with "Some of."

jezel
jezel

@ByteMe @TBS Think they call it BPD...border line personality disorder.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@TBS They continue to be in denial even when presented with evidence they can't dispute.

TBS
TBS

@ByteMe @TBS 

Yep.  You did a great job.  I'm sure he would have responded but he was busy. 

LOL

ByteMe
ByteMe

@jezel Need to increase border security then.

jezel
jezel

@ByteMe @jezel Just kidding...but yea. Wish someone could diagnose what their problem is.

jezel
jezel

Will be interesting to see what the Indiana legislature does with the bill/law now...and will it please enough people. Seems the state has a great deal at stake and a chance to save themselves from more embarrassment.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@_GodlessHeathen_ Didn't John Oliver ask us all not to do that today?  Wouldn't we all be better off not being complete dícks because of the date?

KUTGF
KUTGF

Keith Olbermann makes a passionate argument for why sports must lead the charge out of Indiana.

"There are times in the history of this country where sports not only influences our destiny, but leads it, and this is such a time," Olbermann begins.

He goes on to argue that all sports teams must cut their ties with Indiana, not only because of their RFRA law that does immediate harm to players and fans, but also because that law exploits loopholes in the federal RFRA law. http://crooksandliars.com/2015/03/olberman-ncaa-must-pull-final-four-indiana

_________


Well that is certainly going to rile up the conned.   

ByteMe
ByteMe

@KUTGF Gonna be a challenge for the Pacers to up and leave.  Or UI's basketball team for that matter.

jellyphish
jellyphish

@ByteMe @KUTGF  I see that I got crickets from you when I showed you proof of actual discrimination that liberals approve of.  This is why all of this ginned up outrage means nothing.  It is an attempt by the left to force everyone to accept all types of relationships and behavior as normal.

Jackie_36
Jackie_36

@ByteMe @KUTGF Wonder what will happen if some of the pro teams refuse to play in Indiana or college teams refuse to allow their teams to travel to Indiana?

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Jackie_36 That's what I'm waiting to see... the next time a team from one of the boycotting states has to travel to play Notre Dame.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@straitroad From me?  No idea what you're talking about this "proof of actual discrimination that liberals approve of".  I must have missed that.  Please start a new thread on that so we can discuss.

Jackie_36
Jackie_36

@ByteMe @Jackie_36 UConn will not allow its basketball coach to attend the Final Four because they passed an amendment disallowing any state employee the opportunity to travel to Indiana as long as their religious discrimination law remains in place.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@straitroad it also discriminates against us joining, since we're not in Congress.  You complaining about that as well?  basically, this rises to the level of "it's a cake".

No wonder I didn't take you seriously.

jellyphish
jellyphish

@ByteMe @straitroad  For the record, I have no problem with any type of discrimination.  If someone doesn't want me in their club or place of business, then I'll take it elsewhere.  I figured you would dismiss the CBC issue because, like I stated earlier, leftist only get bothered by discrimination when they get their feeling hurt.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@straitroad 

 For the record, I have no problem with any type of discrimination.

For the record, there are laws against that.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@straitroad Try being in a rural town and the only decent restaurant for 100 miles around says to your face "we don't want YOUR kind here."  Let us know when you can empathize with that.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@Jackie_36 @ByteMe And I bet if UConn were playing in the Final Four, CT would find a way to have him there.


The women's Final Four, that UConn will be playing in is in Tampa.

jellyphish
jellyphish

@ByteMe @straitroad I can empathize with that and I think it's foolish to do so, but a private business should have that right.

jellyphish
jellyphish

@Kamchak @straitroad There are also laws that legalize some forms of discrimination.  I doubt that you are concerned with all types of discrimination, especially when it fits your politics.