Do They Think We’re Stupid? Indiana Republicans Surprised by Backlash?

Do They Think We’re Stupid? Indiana Republicans Surprised by Backlash?

In studying business ethics, one is exposed to many, many individuals who tell you things that are self-serving and often bordering on falsehood. The smart ones use at least a grain of truth in their statements. But sometimes something is said that is so incredibly false, you are not at first able to comprehend that a human being capable of basic ambulatory motions could make such a statement.

Read the following.

Do They Think We're Stupid?
Do They Think We’re Stupid?

Indiana GOP Leaders Shocked Their ‘Religious Freedom’ Law Is Seen As Anti-Gay

“I don’t think anyone anticipated that the characterization of the bill would be, this denies to services to a specific class to Hoosiers. It does just the opposite. It includes all Hoosiers in the religious freedom standard. And it’s a misperception that it denies services,” said Indiana state House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) during a Monday morning press conference with Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R).

via Indiana GOP Leaders Shocked Their ‘Religious Freedom’ Law Is Seen As Anti-Gay.

The law was crafted an an anti-gay act from the very beginning. You want evidence?

How about this from USA Today –

Indiana is just one year removed from a battle to block marriage equality, and where the right for same-sex couples to marry was won only by a court ruling overturning a long-standing ban.

It is telling to opponents of the religious freedom act that the law was driven mostly by the same conservative Christians who lost their fights against marriage equality. It’s also telling, opponents say, that one of the law’s primary sponsors, Republican state Sen. Scott Schneider, has touted the notion — which will be an issue for the court to settle — that Indiana’s RFRA could exempt Christian businesses from having to provide wedding services to gay couples.

And what has the legislature been doing about LGBT rights in the distant past – 2013 to 2014?

This one was 7/9/2013.

Indiana GOP passes law making it a crime for clergy to perform gay weddings

This one was January 14th, 2014.

Indiana lawmakers advance gay-marriage ban amendment

And what does the local press say?

Here is the Indy Star, a Gannet Paper, Dec. 26, 2014:

Same-sex marriage is the issue that won’t go away, no matter how much the state’s Republican leaders may try to avoid it.

Social conservatives, including some state lawmakers, delivered a reminder of that this week when they said they would pursue “religious freedom” legislation that would allow businesses to not serve gay couples.

And what about the defense, I’m seeing all over the internet that this is just like the other religious freedom acts passed in the federal system and many states –

The Indiana law differs substantially from the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by President Clinton in 1993, and all other state RFRAs.

There are several important differences in the Indiana bill but the most striking is Section 9. Under that section, a “person” (which under the law includes not only an individual but also any organization, partnership, LLC, corporation, company, firm, church, religious society, or other entity) whose “exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened” can use the law as “a claim or defense… regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.”

… Indiana’s is the only law that explicitly applies to disputes between private citizens.*

(Note – Texas has a similar provision but specifically exempts civil rights.) From the article above.

See, this is just a play for the rubes. You copy the language of a commonly passed law but change key wording to give the law a different purpose. Another key point is that Indiana has no law protecting gay or LGBT rights. That means the law has a far greater sweep than the laws it claims to copy.

Now, if you want to oppose gays or anyone else participating in the marketplace by your speech or legislation. You can do that. You have that right. But to act on that opposition and then feign surprise when you’re caught is ridiculous.

If discrimination based on sexual orientation isn’t bad business ethics, not much is.

James Pilant

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