Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Indiana and Arkansas Republicans push Religious Freedom to bypass Constitution.

These supposed "religious freedom" laws, allowing discrimination against sexual orientation, are an offshoot of the Hobby Lobby decision.

Conservative states that don't have protections for gay individuals are now passing "religious freedom" laws, a slight twist on the long sought after Republican backed "conscience clause," where a person could use religion to deny others their guaranteed freedoms. This all plays a part in the religious rights goal of two separate nations, one living under the constitution, and another living under the Christian religion (taxpayer supported vouchers go overwhelmingly to religious schools, another slippery slope where government ends up endorsing religion legally by giving the money directly to parents and not the schools).

Despite the national outrage, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is about to sign a similar "religious freedom" law. Crazy right? Hutchinson is another Republican extremist who's even more obvious about his political intentions:
Sexual orientation and gender identity are not included in Arkansas' anti-discrimination protections. Last month, Hutchinson allowed a measure to go into law that prevented local governments from including such protections in their anti-discrimination ordinances.
Hutchinson has delayed the signing until supposedly some changes are made that won't discriminate. Bullshit. It will be entertaining to see what the changes will look like.

The natural follow-up:
AP: Arkansas legislators passed a similar measure, despite criticism that it is a thinly disguised attempt to permit discrimination against gays. The Arkansas proposal now goes to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has said he will sign it.
Not even their paymasters, big business, have a say anymore, because this has been a core value of the Republican Party for decades.

Gov. Mike Pence was inadvertently as obvious about his intentions to discriminate against the LGBT community when he was asked that dangerous "follow-up" question by George Stephanopoulos:

Other's have also sent a strong message to Indiana:
Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman announced on Tuesday that he’s canceling the Indianapolis stop on his 2015 summer tour, but will perform on Wednesday at a scheduled show at Indiana University. (Offerman will donate his shows earning to) HRC, the Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s most prominent LGBT rights groups. Check out Offerman here and here
The list continued to grow. Perhaps Arkansas will see a similar backlash?
Other organizations that are pulling their economic support from the state or boycotting travel to Indiana include Angie’s List — which halted work on a new operation in Indianapolis, the cloud computing company Salesforce, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which canceled its 2015 women’s convention in Indianapolis.

The Americana band Wilco announced that it is canceling its Indiana tour stops, as well.

Connecticut’s Gov. Dannel Malloy said that Pence can deny the law’s anti-LGBT thrust all he wants to. It is clear to anyone who is paying attention what the RFRA is about.
“The governor’s not a stupid man, but he’s done stupid things,” said Malloy to Mika Brzezinski, “and signing this law, and, quite frankly, promoting this law, knowing exactly what it was going to do, was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do.” Pence, Malloy said, “knew exactly what he was doing, and when you see a bigot, you have to call them on it. We cannot sit idly by and do nothing while laws are enacted that will turn back the clock,” Malloy said, saying that he “won’t allow any of our citizens in Connecticut to face discrimination in other states, at least without a fight.”
If you had any questions about the move to the religious right....
The hosts of Fox & Friends on Tuesday set up an interview with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) by noting that he was a follower of the “law of the Bible” Steve Doocy agreed. “The political left is in a frenzy over this right now. But they’re missing the point. 

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