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Monday, March 30, 2015

Republican Governor Pence Signed Law That Brings Back The Old Jim Crow Days


Indiana Lawmakers Admit “No Gays” Signs Will be Allowed

Americans, businesses and cities condemned Indiana’s RFRA ever since Governor Mike Pence signed it in to law. Pence tried to claim his critics didn’t understand the law, but that blew up in his face when, during a press conference, the House Speaker and the Senate Pro Tem admitted that No Gay signs would be allowed in Indiana.


Pence was busted when Indiana’s Senate Pro Tem and the Speaker of the House held a joint news conference admitting that “No Gays allowed” signs would be permitted in areas within Indiana. 

 If only Pence or someone on his staff took a trip outside right wing world. He would have known the cat was out of the bag back in January. As reported by Think Progress at the time, But while RFRAs advanced in previous years were designed to prohibit the government from burdening the religious beliefs of citizens, Indiana’s bill would allow individuals to use their religious beliefs to defend themselves in court even if the state is not party to the case. 

Thus, this would allow a business owner to use their religious beliefs to justify refusing services for a same-sex couple’s wedding. As a state law, this would supersede any municipal nondiscrimination laws that protect LGBT people. 

During a joint press conference, Brian Bosma, Speaker of the House and the Senate’s Pro Tem David Long acknowledged that homophobic shop keepers will be allowed to display “No Gays allowed” signs.

Good going, Governor Pence.  Following in an American tradition that we thought we left behind years ago:

No Irish Need Apply

And more recently:

The modern Republican Party: taking America back to the good ole Jim Crow days.

Keep voting for these people and they'll take us back to the 19th century.


From Daily Kos:

Pence and the Indiana Legislature were warned - in advance - that this RFRA was very different than the ones passed in other states. 

An 11 page letter dated Feb. 27, 2015 was sent to Rep. Ed DeLaney from 30 expert law professors in religious freedom and civil rights (12 from IU law schools) giving their opinion on Indiana's then proposed RFRA. 

 "In our expert opinion, the clear evidence suggests otherwise and unmistakably demonstrates that the broad language of the proposed state RFRA will more likely create confusion, conflict, and a wave of litigation that will threaten the clarity of religious liberty rights in Indiana while undermining the state’s ability to enforce other compelling interests. 

This confusion and conflict will increasingly take the form of private actors, such as employers, landlords, small business owners, or corporations, taking the law into their own hands and acting in ways that violate generally applicable laws on the grounds that they have a religious justification for doing so. Members of the public will then be asked to bear the cost of their employer’s, their landlord’s, their local shopkeeper’s, or a police officer’s private religious beliefs." 

The Indiana Legislature pushed on with this bill anyway, very quickly, and before Hoosiers had time to realize what was happening. I'm sure that was intended. Pence then closed himself off from the people of this state, shut off his phones, and signed the bill in a closed room with a staged photo and no media present. 

The media was not even allowed to interview the people in the photo. Read the letter above. Pass it around. Pence knew exactly what this bill meant, who it was targeting, and how it would be interpreted. He threw the whole state under the bus. Many of us here, including the Indianapolis Star, believe he has done this because he has ambitions to be president. Never let that happen.

The above should explain to folks like skudrunner why what Gov. Pence signed turned out to be a disaster for him and Indiana. Instead, skudrunner tried to change the subject, and guess how -- by telling everyone for the bazillionth time that the people who passed the Jim Crow laws were Democrat! He's consistent, if nothing else. And hopelessly ideologically blind in this particular case. 

Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker all support and endorse the Indiana discriminatory law.


Dave Miller said...

Can doctors cite a religious exemption? Will we soon see the proverbial "No shoes, no shirt, no service" sign amended to include "no gays" either?

Please, could one GOP leader step forward and denounce this?

Why Gov Pence do you need another law to explain what seems clear? Why do you refuse to answer a direct question about this law?

Are we as leftists intolerant regarding this law? Of course we are... Because discrimination in the US is illegal under the Constitution. You know, that little document you claim to revere...

Ducky's here said...

No Gays Allowed?

No way that withstands constitutional challenge.
This is simply insane.

Rational Nation USA said...

"Big Tent GOP", bringing tolerance to America.


Dave Miller said...

Ducky, as I am sure you are aware, some are trotting out the "well just don't patronize those that discriminate" line.

Lets shift the blame to the, in this case gays, for a law they made discriminatory, and then they are responsible.

Now I've got to admit, I'm a little confused if we look at the photog example, and as a shooter, maybe you can help me.

If you are gay, and getting married, why would you want an anti gay person shooting your wedding? Wouldn't you want someone who agrees with your views so as to get the best photos possible?

In a sense, I'm with Rubio. There's got to be some line between compelling that photog to shoot and Bill's Deli deciding to put up a sign denying service to gays isn't there?

If there is, and if that's what the Indy Legislature was aiming for, they spectacularly missed.

Anonymous said...

Efforts to resurrect and slap a smiley face on Jim Crow are evil. But that's what Mike Pence and his fellow bigots are trying to do. Indiana does not have a state law that protects the LGBT community, and that's why the new law Pence signed is evil. And stupid. Not all Indiana Republicans support what their idiot governor signed.

Anonymous said...

From the IndyStar:

"In Indiana, about a dozen cities, including Indianapolis, have local nondiscrimination laws that specifically protect gays and lesbians in employment, housing, education and public accommodation, which include business transactions. But in much of Indiana there is no such protection.

The concern among opponents of the law is that it could embolden people to challenge those local laws.

Shortly after signing the religious freedom act into law Thursday in a private ceremony, Republican Gov. Mike Pence repeatedly said at a news conference that state-level RFRA laws around the country have never been used to undermine local nondiscrimination laws.

It's true that the use of state-level RFRA laws has never — yet — successfully trumped local nondiscrimination laws. But it's also true that they have been invoked in several attempts to do so.

And the situation is such in Indiana — with no state law protecting gays and lesbians, but local ones that do, and now a state RFRA — that it's difficult to find an analogous case to explain what would happen here."

skudrunner said...

When you grant rights to one group you infringe on the rights of another. Has anyone read the law or just heard the media take that it is anti gay.

Like most protests, the majority don't bother to find the truth but to just voice their outrage. From what I have read this is about religious freedom and some protection from the law not about discrimination.

I'm Skippy's Mom said...

NC Lawmakers Want Hospitals To Be Able To Turn Away Gay Patients

Ahab said...

If any good has come out of this vile Indiana law, it's that the far right's anti-LGBTQ agenda is on full display. The law has galvanized people of conscience into action, and it's inspiring.

Dave Miller said...

Skippy, here's a beaut from the Indiana Board of Terrible People...

Shaw Kenawe said...

For skud from The Atlantic:

"There’s a factual dispute about the new Indiana law. It is called a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” like the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed in 1993.* Thus a number of its defenders have claimed it is really the same law. Here, for example, is the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack: “Is there any difference between Indiana's law and the federal law? Nothing significant.” I am not sure what McCormack was thinking; but even my old employer, The Washington Post, seems to believe that if a law has a similar title as another law, they must be identical. “Indiana is actually soon to be just one of 20 states with a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA,” the Post’s Hunter Schwarz wrote, linking to this map created by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The problem with this statement is that, well, it’s false. That becomes clear when you read and compare those tedious state statutes. If you do that, you will find that the Indiana statute has two features the federal RFRA—and most state RFRAs—do not. First, the Indiana law explicitly allows any for-profit business to assert a right to “the free exercise of religion.” The federal RFRA doesn’t contain such language, and neither does any of the state RFRAs except South Carolina’s; in fact, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, explicitly exclude for-profit businesses from the protection of their RFRAs.

The new Indiana statute also contains this odd language: “A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.” (My italics.) Neither the federal RFRA, nor 18 of the 19 state statutes cited by the Post, says anything like this; only the Texas RFRA, passed in 1999, contains similar language."

Shaw Kenawe said...


What these words mean is, first, that the Indiana statute explicitly recognizes that a for-profit corporation has “free exercise” rights matching those of individuals or churches. A lot of legal thinkers thought that idea was outlandish until last year’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, in which the Court’s five conservatives interpreted the federal RFRA to give some corporate employers a religious veto over their employees’ statutory right to contraceptive coverage.

Second, the Indiana statute explicitly makes a business’s “free exercise” right a defense against a private lawsuit by another person, rather than simply against actions brought by government. Why does this matter? Well, there’s a lot of evidence that the new wave of “religious freedom” legislation was impelled, at least in part, by a panic over a New Mexico state-court decision, Elane Photography v. Willock. In that case, a same-sex couple sued a professional photography studio that refused to photograph the couple’s wedding. New Mexico law bars discrimination in “public accommodations” on the basis of sexual orientation. The studio said that New Mexico’s RFRA nonetheless barred the suit; but the state’s Supreme Court held that the RFRA did not apply “because the government is not a party.”

Remarkably enough, soon after, language found its way into the Indiana statute to make sure that no Indiana court could ever make a similar decision. Democrats also offered the Republican legislative majority a chance to amend the new act to say that it did not permit businesses to discriminate; they voted that amendment down.

Shaw Kenawe said...


So, let’s review the evidence: by the Weekly Standard’s definition, there’s “nothing significant” about this law that differs from the federal one, and other state ones—except that it has been carefully written to make clear that 1) businesses can use it against 2) civil-rights suits brought by individuals.

Of all the state “religious freedom” laws I have read, this new statute hints most strongly that it is there to be used as a means of excluding gays and same-sex couples from accessing employment, housing, and public accommodations on the same terms as other people. True, there is no actual language that says, All businesses wishing to discriminate in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation, please check this “religious objection” box. But, as Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”

So—is the fuss over the Indiana law overblown?


Garrett Epps, The Atlantic

Shaw Kenawe said...

Here's Dave's link.

I'd ask skud this: What's the difference between refusing a to make a cake for a gay couple's wedding because of your deeply held religious convictions and refusing to wait on a table where a gay couple is seated, because of your deeply held religious convictions?

Or refusing to print birthday invitations for a gay couple's child because of your deeply held religious convictions?

Or refusing to paint a gay couple's house because of your deeply held religious convictions.

Where does it end, and what other groups will be affected by other people's deeply held religious convictions?

Dave Miller said...

Sorry Skud... as more and more people read the law, as you suggest, it is becoming clearer and clearer that it was about expanding the RFRA into a realm never contemplated by the federal law.

This law gives corporations, not just "closely held" businesses or non-profits, i.e churches, the right to discriminate.

Look, let's step back a few years...

In the 1950's and 60's, many Christians felt divorce was a sin. After all, Jesus seemingly spoke directly against it in his Sermon on the Mount.

This law is tantamount to a law then that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against divorced people, because they felt it was sinful behavior.

Is that what Gov Pence and all the GOP presidential contenders are arguing for? A right to discriminate against sinners because of their lifestyle choices?

Ducky's here said...

I doubt he expected this much push back.

Now he's going to have the legislature "fix" the law.
As far as I can tell that means delineating those circumstances where discrimination is allowed from those where it isn't because there are serious potential reprisals.

He stepped in a big steamy pile and knows it.

Hoosier Momma said...

It's amusing that it's the antics of the anti-gay religious extremists that's going to cause the rights of the people they hate to be preserved by law. Gay people couldn't get this done without the help of the religious dead-enders.

Ann Adamsapple said...

What are the odds that Mike Pence will NOT be seen eating a corndog at the Indianana State Fair this year?

Ducky's here said...

Skud, we have anti discrimination laws in this country and that's a good thing.

The group that is asking for "special" rights are the religious right who wish to be granted exceptions to the anti discrimination statutes.

I remember when cab Muslim cab drivers were refusing to transport passengers who were carrying alcohol and there was an uproar (as there should have been) and the matter was quickly resolved. Is the issue in Indiana any different?
What about the movement by employees of drug chains to refuse to fill valid birth control prescriptions on religious grounds? Again, quite correctly, that was quashed.

Is the refusal to serve a legitimate customer who happens to be gay not also discrimination?

C. Johnson the 3rd said...

Cruz, Bush and Walker all endorse Indiana's anti-gay law? Who's surprised? The three of them are balless panderers. And have a lot in common with the Muslim gay-haters. No they don't actually say to kill them, just deny them their civil rights in the good ole Republican way.

Matthew Mark Luke and John said...

So if Newt Gingrich, a GOP hero, walked into a bakery in Indiana and ordered a wedding cake for his third marriage, no one would complain about that being against their deeply held religious beliefs even though the NT is against divorce?

Is there a picking and choosing here with the fundies on what God says is sinful? It certainly appears like that, since I haven't read anything about a 3 times married guy (Gingrich) or a 5 times married guy (Limbaugh) being turned away by Xtian florists or cake bakers, even though divorce is condemned in the Bible.

It's all bullsh*t and hypocrisy, and everyone knows it. Except Pence and the stupids he and other fundies surround themselves with.

Anonymous said...

Come on I am sure there are plenty of Halal restaurants they could frequent

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Dudrunner: “When you grant rights to one group you infringe on the rights of another.

Frankly, I am quite surprised no one noticed the prima facie absurdity of this statement. It contradicts the founding principles of our government starting with: “All men are created equal” under law.

If rights granted to one group infringe upon the rights of another, who gets to decide which group ends up more privileged?

Maybe six-fingered Dudrunner thinks imprisonment infringes upon his right to be criminal.

Shaw Kenawe said...

skudrunner: "When you grant rights to one group you infringe on the rights of another."

It was such a goofy statement, it didn't deserve discussion.

But since (O)CT(O) pointed out its absurdity, skud needs to think about this:

How did delivering millions of human beings out of human bondage "infringe" on other humans' rights?

How did giving African-Americans and women the right to vote infringe on other Americans' rights.

That's just two examples.

I believe skud writes these things without thinking.

skudrunner said...


I would be shocked if you didn't disagree. As is the norm what I say is taken totally out of context but let me clarify.
It's like no one looses in a compromise, another false statement. If you give up your beliefs you are giving up your rights but that is a big reach for some.

Shaw Kenawe said...

skud: "If you give up your beliefs you are giving up your rights..."

Let's do a "for instance" here.

At one time many people in the US believed interracial marriage was a sin. How did allowing people who were of a different race and who loved each other take away the "rights" of the people who were against interracial marriage? Which rights were the anti-miscegenationists deprived of when interracial marriage became legal?

Which rights were certain people deprived of when the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed into law?

How did giving people the right to vote, unmolested, and the right to not be discriminated against hurt those who were against those rights?

Did those laws hurt their deeply held bigotry?

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Dudrunner: “When you grant rights to one group you infringe on the rights of another.

Translation: "Some animals are more equal than others."

The quote is from George Orwell's Animal Farm. Either everyone has equal rights under law or - sooner or later - no one has equal rights under law. This is not a negotiation or a principle to be overturned by popular opinion.

"I would be shocked if you didn't disagree (...)"

You have learned NOTHING about the Bill of Rights which serves as the Preamble of our Constitution, and NOTHING about the foundations of American government. I am shocked by the depth of your IGNORANCE and INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY !!!

skudrunner said...


If you own property, again an assumption, do you not have the right to allow access to anyone you want and prevent those you don't?

Isn't it legal to have a women's college or a jewish center or a black student union. That is a choice. If you do not allow a firearm in a business you own, that is your right but are you not infringing on the gun owner's right. Like I said, what you grant to one you take from another. According to the leftist doctrine the government knows best what is good for you. There are those who believe in personal choice.

You need to read up on the Bill of Rights because you seem to be misdirected in your opinion.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

It appears you have a TWISTED understanding of human rights, one that reduces all notions of “equality” to the level of business transaction where there can only be winners and losers. Furthermore, you seem to regard “voyeurism” as a fundamental human right whereupon you, like so many ultra-fundamentalist religious denominations, assert the right to judge and punish people – even non-parishioners – over matters that are personal and private and NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS! Here is the statement that makes you the BIGGEST HYPOCRITE of all:

According to the leftist doctrine the government knows best what is good for you. There are those who believe in personal choice.

Nope. It’s the government of Neo-Confederate White Boys like you that get into people’s faces, and into their bedrooms – to enlist the powers of government as Enforcer of religious doctrine; that impose their religious teachings and taboos upon the general population; that seek to legalize discrimination and deny citizens their full rights under law; that assert the sovereign right of states to violate human rights. This is Southern White Boy stinking-thinking at its very worst; yet you have the audacity to come here and claim the mantle of victim hood! BULLSHIT! Discrimination on religious grounds IS STILL BIGOTRY no matter how you frame it.

Your convenient little memory forgets that Southern White Boy culture is one of slavery, discrimination, Jim Crow laws, and lynching.

The last civil war didn’t go very well for you. Do you want start another one?