Gen Con Threatens to move if Indiana Gov signs religious freedom bill


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pH unbalanced wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:

It has already begun.

Everyone who said we wouldn't actually see businesses posting "no gays allowed" signs, it looks like you were correct for nearly one entire day.

Is he willing to go to court over it? He can still be sued or cited. He would have to prove that it is a substantive burden, then prove either that the burden isn't a compelling government interest (a dubious argument for a restaurant) or that there is a lesser way to further that interest (also a difficult argument). He would have to do so publically, risking negative publicity. And he would lose.

This law is as much a right to discriminate as self-defense laws are a right to kill.

I don't want to sue people. I want to be able to go out to dinner or go to the store without being treated like a freak.

^ this.

Why should anyone have to sue for the right to be treated the same as everyone else?

How many times are we going to have to have this discussion?


Krensky wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:

It has already begun.

Everyone who said we wouldn't actually see businesses posting "no gays allowed" signs, it looks like you were correct for nearly one entire day.

Is he willing to go to court over it? He can still be sued or cited. He would have to prove that it is a substantive burden, then prove either that the burden isn't a compelling government interest (a dubious argument for a restaurant) or that there is a lesser way to further that interest (also a difficult argument). He would have to do so publically, risking negative publicity. And he would lose.

This law is as much a right to discriminate as self-defense laws are a right to kill.

Are you sure? Because from what I read the state would have to prove that it wasn't a substantive burden, that it had a compelling interest, and that it's the least restrictive means. The restaurant owner doesn't have to prove anything, just affirm that it violates his religious beliefs to do so. He doesn't even need to provide proof or justification. Just state that it violates them.

Yes. A given entity (person, business, whatever) can't just say "religious freedom, home base!" and expect safety from litigation or legal requirements. That's not how this law has played out anywhere it exists, before or after Hobby Lobby. It generally goes like this: the jurisdiction (state, municipal, whatever) creates its law; the entity does something to gain the ire of the jurisdiction so that it is enforced (none of the above steps are different before or after this law); the entity can then rely on the law to petition for injunctive relief. To succeed, they would have to prove (using the standard civil preponderance of evidence standard) the elements above in order to win relief. The first few steps are the same as before; it merely gives entities the opportunity to petition.

Sec. 9. 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. If the relevant governmental entity is not a party to the proceeding, the governmental entity has an unconditional right to intervene in order to respond to the person's invocation of this chapter.

The entity would have to have standing to sue proactively, which isn't a given. (Otherwise, they can't prove an actual burden exists.) The law actually gives the jurisdiction the right of intervention, which is a huge disadvantage for the entity. Let's say the entity is sued by a homosexual couple for discriminatory actions based on a specific local law; the law allows the entity to step in (with the innumerable advantages of government in the legal domain) and defend its law. If they had really wanted to promote discrimination, they would cut the jurisdictions out.

Sec. 10. (a) If a court or other tribunal in which a violation of this chapter is asserted in conformity with section 9 of this chapter determines that: (1) the person's exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened; and (2) the governmental entity imposing the burden has not demonstrated that application of the burden to the person: (A) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (B) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest; the court or other tribunal shall allow a defense against any party and shall grant appropriate relief against the governmental entity. (b) Relief against the governmental entity may include any of the following: (1) Declaratory relief or an injunction or mandate that prevents, restrains, corrects, or abates the violation of this chapter. (2) Compensatory damages. (c) In the appropriate case,the court or other tribunal also may award all or part of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees, to a person that prevails against the governmental entity under this chapter.

The entity has to prove a substantial burden. The state has to prove the compelling and least-restrictive factors, but the nature of civil court and the preponderance standard make that a semantic distinction. Only if the entity wins will it receive injunctive relief. In practical terms, no court has granted (to my knowledge) relief to anyone claiming RFRA protections as the owner of a public service restaurant or hotel in the many other states. Precedents from the civil rights battles would make any such outcome highly unlikely.

Now, all that said - Indiana has passed a marginally broader law than many others. Unintended consequences will occur, as they do with all laws. I prefer my laws as narrowly tailored as possible to achieve their intended purpose. If someone wants to claim that the law is broader than it needs to be, that's a reasonable argument. Claims that it is now a discriminatory free-for-all are not doing so with a sober evaluation of the law, but rather is demagoguery.


pH unbalanced wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:

It has already begun.

Everyone who said we wouldn't actually see businesses posting "no gays allowed" signs, it looks like you were correct for nearly one entire day.

Is he willing to go to court over it? He can still be sued or cited. He would have to prove that it is a substantive burden, then prove either that the burden isn't a compelling government interest (a dubious argument for a restaurant) or that there is a lesser way to further that interest (also a difficult argument). He would have to do so publically, risking negative publicity. And he would lose.

This law is as much a right to discriminate as self-defense laws are a right to kill.

I don't want to sue people. I want to be able to go out to dinner or go to the store without being treated like a freak.

Prior to this law, you would have to sue if discriminated against. After this law, you would have to sue if you were discriminated against, but they have a defense they can try (and most likely fail) to use. It changes nothing on the front end.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Except it makes it more liekly you'll be discriminated against because now bigots have a cover. Before if the local county laws said no discrimination on grounds of orientation, it was obvious that you were breaking the law by discriminating on grounds of orientation. Now, it's not. So people who want to discriminate will see this as a way of discriminating while staying legal, making them more likey to do it it the first place.


Paul Watson wrote:
Except it makes it more liekly you'll be discriminated against because now bigots have a cover. Before if the local county laws said no discrimination on grounds of orientation, it was obvious that you were breaking the law by discriminating on grounds of orientation. Now, it's not. So people who want to discriminate will see this as a way of discriminating while staying legal, making them more likey to do it it the first place.

Is that the effect it has had elsewhere?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DM Barcas wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Except it makes it more liekly you'll be discriminated against because now bigots have a cover. Before if the local county laws said no discrimination on grounds of orientation, it was obvious that you were breaking the law by discriminating on grounds of orientation. Now, it's not. So people who want to discriminate will see this as a way of discriminating while staying legal, making them more likey to do it it the first place.
Is that the effect it has had elsewhere?

As DoomedHero pointed an example of it happening in Indianna up thread, does that matter?

Even if the bigots are wrong, they're still more confident in acting on their bigotry, sorry, deeply held religious beliefs, which was my point.


You know, I can't help but think, all of those business that start taking advantage of this bill will only make it easier for people to take revenge on them. The dark side of me knows that there will probably be more than a few vandalisms of said businesses, possibly even arson employed against the companies forcing other businesses to hide their viewpoints or even turn violent against those they disapprove of.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tels wrote:
You know, I can't help but think, all of those business that start taking advantage of this bill will only make it easier for people to take revenge on them. The dark side of me knows that there will probably be more than a few vandalisms of said businesses, possibly even arson employed against the companies forcing other businesses to hide their viewpoints or even turn violent against those they disapprove of.

Sadly, the dark side of me says that would be more likely to hit the businesses that don't discriminate in some parts of Indianna.


Paul Watson wrote:
Tels wrote:
You know, I can't help but think, all of those business that start taking advantage of this bill will only make it easier for people to take revenge on them. The dark side of me knows that there will probably be more than a few vandalisms of said businesses, possibly even arson employed against the companies forcing other businesses to hide their viewpoints or even turn violent against those they disapprove of.
Sadly, the dark side of me says that would be more likely to hit the businesses that don't discriminate in some parts of Indianna.

The problem is, I think it would start on the discriminatory businesses first. I could easily see businesses who are proud of the fact that they can legally discriminate against gays, and jews, and black people now (historically people that are discriminated against) only for things like vandalism, destruction of property and even arson to strike against them. I could even see something like arson being employed by the owners against themselves and blaming it on "the gays" to collect insurance money.

Then might come attacks against "the other side". Attacking businesses that are owned/operated by or are friendly to gays/jews/muslim/black people (whomever is being discriminated against). It could easily spark into civil unrest with people coming from other states or even countries to contribute to the fight (on either side) like what happened in Ferguson during the riots.

I mean, one could theoretically start a business and put up a sign that says they won't serve American's because the owners are Muslim as Americans are all sinners and infidels. They could even state they support ISIS or whatever group is currently active in the Middle East at the time and no one could legally do anything against them. They would be legally protected in their choice to refuse service to Americans (though they wouldn't be in business long). *Please see asterisk below*

This is a law that promotes hatred. It gives people the legal right to express their hatred in a business fashion and people are going to use it. What happens when someone like, say, a police officer, refuses to help someone "because of religious reasons"? I don't know if that's even possible, but something like that could easily happen due to a misunderstanding of the law (assuming the law doesn't make that a legally valid choice). Or a fire fighter, or a paramedic etc.

What about if you're trying to find a nursing home for a disabled person but they refuse to serve him because of some trumped up religious reason? Or a pharmacy that refuses to fill out prescription?

This law can only end in tears if it doesn't get stricken down.

* This a whole statement is hyperbolic. I don't think Muslims see American's as Infidels or anything like that. It was purely a hypothetical scenario and one that could legitimately come to take place, if only as a point to prove how absurd the law truly is. I mean, it's entirely possible for someone to say they refuse to serve those who work in a political fashion due to their religious beliefs that politicians are evil.


As I've noted before, the proponents of the law have explicitly claimed it will give them license to discriminate -- except of course they say it's not discrimination to refuse service to those filthy gays, it's just protecting their religious beliefs. So if the law doesn't actually do this, you certainly can't tell from what the people who've written it and champion it are trying to say.


Quote:
This is a law that promotes hatred. It gives people the legal right to express their hatred in a business fashion and people are going to use it. What happens when someone like, say, a police officer, refuses to help someone "because of religious reasons"? I don't know if that's even possible, but something like that could easily happen due to a misunderstanding of the law (assuming the law doesn't make that a legally valid choice). Or a fire fighter, or a paramedic etc.

The same thing that would happen before the law, with maybe the extra step of that person fighting and losing in court, ending up even worse off than before. Being required to provide equal public safety services is the easiest case of proving a compelling public interest that I can think of.


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DM Barcas wrote:


This law is as much a right to discriminate as self-defense laws are a right to kill.

I take it you haven't been watching any news about Florida for the past couple years.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
As I've noted before, the proponents of the law have explicitly claimed it will give them license to discriminate -- except of course they say it's not discrimination to refuse service to those filthy gays, it's just protecting their religious beliefs. So if the law doesn't actually do this, you certainly can't tell from what the people who've written it and champion it are trying to say.

[Citation needed]


Scythia wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:


This law is as much a right to discriminate as self-defense laws are a right to kill.
I take it you haven't been watching any news about Florida for the past couple years.

Criminal law is my particular forte, so I will expand on the issue. Self-defense laws grant a limited right to use force, depending on totality of the circumstances in a particular situation. This right is not absolute, similar to this law being far from absolute. Claiming self-defense, somewhat like claiming a substantial burden on religious beliefs, is an affirmative defense. One must admit to the action, claim ownership of it, then defend it. (Now, the differences between criminal and civil domains makes it an imperfect analogy, but the general points stand.) It is the responsibility of the actor to invoke the right, but it does not automatically bring the legal action to an end. One cannot simply throw his hands in the air and claim self-defense immunity (else I would have quite a bit of difficulty bringing my cases forward), just like one cannot simply throw his hands in the air and claim religious-belief immunity.

Regarding Florida itself, specific commentary would bring us off-topic. Suffice to say that the Zimmerman-Martin case was legally dubious and an inevitable loss for the state. No serious legal analyst was remotely surprised.


That way lies a large number of locked threads...


DM Barcas wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
As I've noted before, the proponents of the law have explicitly claimed it will give them license to discriminate -- except of course they say it's not discrimination to refuse service to those filthy gays, it's just protecting their religious beliefs. So if the law doesn't actually do this, you certainly can't tell from what the people who've written it and champion it are trying to say.

[Citation needed]

As linked upthread.

Dark Archive

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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
That honestly wasn't even my point. I was saying just because Christianity didn't consider being black as sinful, what if other religions did?

Where I grew up in Oklahoma, being black was 'proof' that you were descended from Cain and bore his mark. Shunning black people was absolutely the Christian thing to do.

I have no idea where that notion came from, but the town (Grove, Oklahoma) had a 'blue law' on the books that black people couldn't live within the city limits. (An unenforceable law, even back in the 70's and 80's, but still not one that anybody felt a burning need to scrub from the books...) A black family did move into town, and bought the closed down movie theatre and re-opened it.

It burned down. A month later, the barn on their property burned down. They moved away, and a few months after that, the house they'd lived in burned down.

Not *all* of the racism in that part of the country stems from (mis)interpretations of Christian belief, but it's hardly blameless.

Meanwhile, some homeless liberal hippie named Jesus encouraged his followers to treat others the way they want to be treated and stop casting stones at each other. Maybe if a few more 'Christians' were inclined to follow his message...


Set wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
That honestly wasn't even my point. I was saying just because Christianity didn't consider being black as sinful, what if other religions did?

Where I grew up in Oklahoma, being black was 'proof' that you were descended from Cain and bore his mark. Shunning black people was absolutely the Christian thing to do.

I have no idea where that notion came from, but the town (Grove, Oklahoma)

Is that a Mormon area perchance?

Until the latter part of the 20th century (1978 to be exact), the official stance of the LDS church was exactly that, regarding the meaning and origin of melanistic skin tone. While that teaching was in place, racial discrimination was an article of faith. Given that it was taught as truth for so long, it wouldn't surprise me if some adherents found it difficult to let go of.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
As I've noted before, the proponents of the law have explicitly claimed it will give them license to discriminate -- except of course they say it's not discrimination to refuse service to those filthy gays, it's just protecting their religious beliefs. So if the law doesn't actually do this, you certainly can't tell from what the people who've written it and champion it are trying to say.

[Citation needed]

As linked upthread.

I read that and wasn't remarkably convinced. Was this singular anonymous restaurant owner involved in the drafting of the bill? Does he actually know what is in it? And if he was discriminatory against them before the law, how does that prove that he somehow has a license to discriminate? Considering that he was unwilling to identify publicly on the radio, I doubt that he would openly use said 'license'.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM Barcas wrote:
Scythia wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:


This law is as much a right to discriminate as self-defense laws are a right to kill.
I take it you haven't been watching any news about Florida for the past couple years.
Criminal law is my particular forte, so I will expand on the issue. Self-defense laws grant a limited right to use force, depending on totality of the circumstances in a particular situation. This right is not absolute, similar to this law being far from absolute. Claiming self-defense, somewhat like claiming a substantial burden on religious beliefs, is an affirmative defense. One must admit to the action, claim ownership of it, then defend it. (Now, the differences between criminal and civil domains makes it an imperfect analogy, but the general points stand.) It is the responsibility of the actor to invoke the right, but it does not automatically bring the legal action to an end. One cannot simply throw his hands in the air and claim self-defense immunity (else I would have quite a bit of difficulty bringing my cases forward), just like one cannot simply throw his hands in the air and claim religious-belief immunity.

Except the existence of the affirmative defense alone has had a chilling effect on prosecutions in at least some of the jurisdictions where it exists. You are no doubt well aware that lawyers on either side of the line don't particularly like to take on cases they think will lose. There seems good cause to be concerned that a similar chilling effect on lawsuits against discrimination would follow in the wake of this law, making it harder to suit the discriminating party to begin with.

Also, I'd've been a lot more inclined to accept your casual assumption that the religious burden defense wouldn't work before Hobby Lobby v. Burwell. Can you seriously tell me that you don't think the Roberts court, were it faced with a test case on this statute, would be as blase about tossing the defense out as you're suggesting? Because I remember a number of analysts making basically the same argument about Hobby Lobby itself, except it didn't go that way in the end.


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Well, it doesn't speak to the Indiana law directly, but Democrats in Georgia appear to have killed (or at least stalled) a similar bill by adding an amendment stating that it doesn't allow "citing religious liberty as a reason to subvert state non-discrimination laws."

This led the bill's sponsors to table the bill saying "that amendment would completely undercut the purpose of the bill."


DM Barcas wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Except it makes it more liekly you'll be discriminated against because now bigots have a cover. Before if the local county laws said no discrimination on grounds of orientation, it was obvious that you were breaking the law by discriminating on grounds of orientation. Now, it's not. So people who want to discriminate will see this as a way of discriminating while staying legal, making them more likey to do it it the first place.
Is that the effect it has had elsewhere?

as noted before, the Indiana version is different from the other versions.


Quote:

Except the existence of the affirmative defense alone has had a chilling effect on prosecutions in at least some of the jurisdictions where it exists. You are no doubt well aware that lawyers on either side of the line don't particularly like to take on cases they think will lose. There seems good cause to be concerned that a similar chilling effect on lawsuits against discrimination would follow in the wake of this law, making it harder to suit the discriminating party to begin with.

Also, I'd've been a lot more inclined to accept your casual assumption that the religious burden defense wouldn't work before Hobby Lobby v. Burwell. Can you seriously tell me that you don't think the Roberts court, were it faced with a test case on this statute, would be as blase about tossing the defense out as you're suggesting? Because I remember a number of analysts making basically the same argument about Hobby Lobby itself, except it didn't go that way in the end.

There has never been a case of a successful RFRA defense against public accommodation laws, which seems to be the general claim against this law (that it will gut public accommodation laws). Considering that they have held up for fifty years of pretty powerful precedents, I doubt that RFRA laws would undo them. And as far as Hobby Lobby goes, maybe we were reading different analysts, because most I read were fairly certain Hobby Lobby would win. At this point, the legal analysts don't seem to think that there is any risk of general public accommodation laws as a whole being undone.

Perhaps corner cases like the wedding bakery issues might find some relief, but it all depends on the exact facts of the case. A McDonald's owner turning someone out for being a suspected homosexual has a far, far weaker case than a wedding baker or photographer, especially when the state threatens to put them out of business to coerce their cooperation.


Freehold DM wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Except it makes it more liekly you'll be discriminated against because now bigots have a cover. Before if the local county laws said no discrimination on grounds of orientation, it was obvious that you were breaking the law by discriminating on grounds of orientation. Now, it's not. So people who want to discriminate will see this as a way of discriminating while staying legal, making them more likey to do it it the first place.
Is that the effect it has had elsewhere?
as noted before, the Indiana version is different from the other versions.

It isn't significantly different. It explicitly codifies the ability of businesses to take advantage of the defense and is somewhat broader in its phraseology - but it isn't so different as to be unrecognizable or for lessons in other jurisdictions to be instructive as to the possible outcomes.


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Set wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
That honestly wasn't even my point. I was saying just because Christianity didn't consider being black as sinful, what if other religions did?

Where I grew up in Oklahoma, being black was 'proof' that you were descended from Cain and bore his mark. Shunning black people was absolutely the Christian thing to do.

pauses in the middle of breakfast, looks around wild-eyed

CTHULHU! CTHULHU! IA! IA! CTHULHU FTAGN!

runs around neighborhood turning crosses upside down while blasting Black Sabbath, only to collapse in a heap outside of his own front door, sweaty and panting

Stupid...mark of cain...wheeze can't...control myself sometimes.


DM Barcas wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Except it makes it more liekly you'll be discriminated against because now bigots have a cover. Before if the local county laws said no discrimination on grounds of orientation, it was obvious that you were breaking the law by discriminating on grounds of orientation. Now, it's not. So people who want to discriminate will see this as a way of discriminating while staying legal, making them more likey to do it it the first place.
Is that the effect it has had elsewhere?
as noted before, the Indiana version is different from the other versions.
It isn't significantly different. It explicitly codifies the ability of businesses to take advantage of the defense and is somewhat broader in its phraseology - but it isn't so different as to be unrecognizable or for lessons in other jurisdictions to be instructive as to the possible outcomes.

we already have people treating it as if it were, and until someone is taken to court, we won't know for sure.


thejeff wrote:

Well, it doesn't speak to the Indiana law directly, but Democrats in Georgia appear to have killed (or at least stalled) a similar bill by adding an amendment stating that it doesn't allow "citing religious liberty as a reason to subvert state non-discrimination laws."

This led the bill's sponsors to table the bill saying "that amendment would completely undercut the purpose of the bill."

Can you find the actual language of the amendment? I can't, other than some vague references in left-wing media and one reference to a "poison pill" amendment in a religious website that supports the law. It is rather important to know what the actual amendment was and how it intersects with the bill and with existing law.

According to the ThinkProgress version of the story, the bill's proponents forcefully denied that it was intended to promote discrimination.

Lantern Lodge

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Threats and boycotts won't do anygo...wha?!?!

Gov Mike Pence wrote:

“I support religious liberty, and I support this law,” Pence said in an exclusive interview. “But we are in discussions with legislative leaders this weekend to see if there’s a way to clarify the intent of the law.”

The governor, although not ready to provide details on what the new bill will say, said he expects the legislation to be introduced into the General Assembly this coming week.

No way to prove Gen Con and other's actions forced the clarification, but I like to think so.

Now, will it be a good one?


DM Barcas wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:

It has already begun.

Everyone who said we wouldn't actually see businesses posting "no gays allowed" signs, it looks like you were correct for nearly one entire day.

Is he willing to go to court over it? He can still be sued or cited. He would have to prove that it is a substantive burden, then prove either that the burden isn't a compelling government interest (a dubious argument for a restaurant) or that there is a lesser way to further that interest (also a difficult argument). He would have to do so publically, risking negative publicity. And he would lose.

This law is as much a right to discriminate as self-defense laws are a right to kill.

I don't want to sue people. I want to be able to go out to dinner or go to the store without being treated like a freak.
Prior to this law, you would have to sue if discriminated against. After this law, you would have to sue if you were discriminated against, but they have a defense they can try (and most likely fail) to use. It changes nothing on the front end.

no. But it changes things on the back end, and your "most likely" is nothing more than a possibility.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
DM Barcas wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:

It has already begun.

Everyone who said we wouldn't actually see businesses posting "no gays allowed" signs, it looks like you were correct for nearly one entire day.

Is he willing to go to court over it? He can still be sued or cited. He would have to prove that it is a substantive burden, then prove either that the burden isn't a compelling government interest (a dubious argument for a restaurant) or that there is a lesser way to further that interest (also a difficult argument). He would have to do so publically, risking negative publicity. And he would lose.

This law is as much a right to discriminate as self-defense laws are a right to kill.

I don't want to sue people. I want to be able to go out to dinner or go to the store without being treated like a freak.
Prior to this law, you would have to sue if discriminated against. After this law, you would have to sue if you were discriminated against, but they have a defense they can try (and most likely fail) to use. It changes nothing on the front end.

Historically speaking, the benefit to non-discrimination laws is more because they make a public, cultural statement as to what is acceptible then the actual legal mechanism they provide. Bigots will discriminate anyway -- they'll just change their excuse. Those opposed to the bigotry will decline to discriminate no matter what the law.

It's the majority of people in the middle who really don't care about the issue who change their behavior. They can now use the excuse "it's the law" to take the money of people they were afraid to serve before because of what their neighbors might say.

Legal remedies are important, but also largely irrelevant. Because most people are not lawyers, it is the non-legal understanding around a law that makes the most difference in changing actual behaviour.

Scarab Sages

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A picture that may help clarify, Governor Pence signing the bill in a private ceremony

Looks good, very representative crowd of advisers there to guide him and cheer him on!


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The entire argument boils down to this-

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

There are people who genuinely believe that anti-discrimination laws actually infringe upon their first amendment rights because those laws prohibit their free exercise of religion.

So, they are trying to create laws that make religious exceptions to anti-discrimination laws using the first amendment as a legal foundation.

No matter what the other legal arguments are, that's really the crux of it.

Fortunately we have had this conversation before. Many times. The answer is still the same.

Religion cannot be used as a reason to legally discriminate. Period.

It would be really nice if people would stop using their religions as excuses to treat people poorly.


William Ronald wrote:
Ultimately, I believe what unites us as human beings is more powerful and important than what divides us.

I believe, ultimately, that people are self-centered enough to always put pride of place into what divides them from the "others".

BigNorseWolf wrote:
A government without limits is a totalitarian state even in the pursuit of a noble goal.

And even if initially the government used this power for good, eventually bad people would be attracted to those positions of power, and then the government would be doing bad things with impunity.

There's a reason our constitution has the right to bear arms for it's citizenry. And for the time and place it was written, those arms were essentially state-of-the-art military-grade personal armament.

thejeff wrote:
Laws often have unintended consequences.
DM Barcas wrote:
Indiana has passed a marginally broader law than many others. Unintended consequences will occur, as they do with all laws. I prefer my laws as narrowly tailored as possible to achieve their intended purpose

Why can't laws come with and official preamble that says, "This law is intended to ________, and therefore any interpretation or application of this law outside of it's intended purpose is null/void?"

DM Barcas wrote:
This law is as much a right to discriminate as self-defense laws are a right to kill.

Having read the law, I agree.

The question then, for my detractors, becomes: Do I agree with the law?

And the answer is: This is what you get when you go from being a democratic republic to a democratic plutocracy.

Some things have gotten better since 1776. A few things have gotten worse (like, arguably, the Indiana law under discussion). But, do to human nature, I expect things won't change much from one decade to the next*.

*Though the power of DoHS/NSA frightens me, because people that do well in bureaucracies like those tend to be people Dick Cheney thinks are totes-awesome.

Silver Crusade

Doomed Hero wrote:
It would be really nice if people would stop using their religions as excuses to treat people poorly.

Ha ha ho ho ho aha ha ha!

There are plenty of religious people who use their beliefs as motivation for good work. And the teachings of most religions of the world are worthwhile lessons for all of us, even disregarding any supernatural slant on things.

But there will always be believers who use their religions as bludgeons. It has been that way for all of recorded history. It was almost certainly that way in prehistory. The duty of the rest of us, believers and non-believers alike, is to say to those people, "Not cool, dude! Not cool."

Thankfully, Gen Con (and many other businesses, individuals, and organizations) have said "Not cool, dude" to Governor Pence. And we are seeing that it can be effective.

Silver Crusade

Quark Blast wrote:
Some things have gotten better since 1776. A few things have gotten worse.

The U.S. is so much mind-bogglingly better off now than in 1776. Even amid the homophobic blowback laws like the one being discussed here, LGBTQ individuals enjoy an incredible amount of liberty in comparison to their 18th-century counterparts. And that does not even consider the liberties enjoyed now by every other person who is not a land-owning white protestant male (e.g., African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos/Mexican Americans, Americans with disabilities, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Atheists, Mormons [granted, Mormonism post-dates 1776, but they were persecuted from their beginning], and all women).

There is no comparing the U.S. of 1776 (or even of 1787, when the Constitution was ratified) with the U.S. of today. Our founding fathers would be pleased indeed.


DM Barcas, I get what you're arguing -- that the actual legal effect of the law is determined by its language and that it is difficult to find where in the law it actually gives permission to discriminate.

On the other hand, I think it's become pretty clear from the way people have been championing these laws and laws like them that they are intended to appear as if they are protecting those who would like to discriminate against LGBT people. It may be that the lawmakers who are putting these laws to paper are writing laws that don't actually do that, but are giving their supporters the appearance of protection if they choose to discriminate.

After all, there's a reason why all these laws have been proposed in the last couple years. That reason is marriage equality and the success we've had in bringing it through legislation, judicial decisions, and via popular referenda. That isn't a coincidence. To propose that these laws have nothing to do with a reaction against the LGBT civil rights movement's success requires that one explain why all these laws are being pushed for now.

Those concerned about the laws in the legislatures that passed them tried to add amendments that would prevent the laws from overriding local anti-discrimination ordinances, add specific anti-discrimination wording to the laws, or define protecting children as a compelling government interest. These amendments were defeated. What would be the point in this, if the purpose of the law were not (or at least, was not meant to appear as) to override local anti-discrimination ordinances, to allow discrimination, to prevent protecting children when it would conflict with religious views, and so forth? (Citation)

When asked whether the law would make it legal for a business to refuse to serve gay customers, the governor who signed it refused to answer six times. If it wasn't intended to make this legal, why wouldn't he say so? (Citation)


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The Fox wrote:
Our founding fathers would be pleased indeed.

Well, I don't know about that. A lot of them probably would think we were b#@!@~& for allowing women and black people to vote, much less elect one president.


The Fox wrote:
There is no comparing the U.S. of 1776 (or even of 1787, when the Constitution was ratified) with the U.S. of today. Our founding fathers would be pleased indeed.

Except for the whole central banking system thing. I think most of them would be appalled at how our economy works.

Except Hamilton. He'd be doing ecstatic backflips.


Doomed Hero wrote:
The Fox wrote:
There is no comparing the U.S. of 1776 (or even of 1787, when the Constitution was ratified) with the U.S. of today. Our founding fathers would be pleased indeed.

Except for the whole central banking system thing. I think most of them would be appalled at how our economy works.

Except Hamilton. He'd be doing ecstatic backflips.

Actually I expect all of them would just be flabbergasted. Complete culture shock with no ability to comprehend how our economy or culture works. Not that they're dumb, but the world is such a different place. I suspect the smart ones would be smart enough to realize they couldn't judge.

I also suspect (and this is really just my theory) that they'd be shocked we were still trying to use their Constitution to run the country in such a different world and probably offended by the reverence we have for it and them.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
The Fox wrote:
Our founding fathers would be pleased indeed.
Well, I don't know about that. A lot of them probably would think we were b$#@#%& for allowing women and black people to vote, much less elect one president.

Not to mention Indians.

And peasants too - laborers and menials and the like.


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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

DM Barcas, I get what you're arguing -- that the actual legal effect of the law is determined by its language and that it is difficult to find where in the law it actually gives permission to discriminate.

On the other hand, I think it's become pretty clear from the way people have been championing these laws and laws like them that they are intended to appear as if they are protecting those who would like to discriminate against LGBT people. It may be that the lawmakers who are putting these laws to paper are writing laws that don't actually do that, but are giving their supporters the appearance of protection if they choose to discriminate.

After all, there's a reason why all these laws have been proposed in the last couple years. That reason is marriage equality and the success we've had in bringing it through legislation, judicial decisions, and via popular referenda. That isn't a coincidence. To propose that these laws have nothing to do with a reaction against the LGBT civil rights movement's success requires that one explain why all these laws are being pushed for now.

Those concerned about the laws in the legislatures that passed them tried to add amendments that would prevent the laws from overriding local anti-discrimination ordinances, add specific anti-discrimination wording to the laws, or define protecting children as a compelling government interest. These amendments were defeated. What would be the point in this, if the purpose of the law were not (or at least, was not meant to appear as) to override local anti-discrimination ordinances, to allow discrimination, to prevent protecting children when it would conflict with religious views, and so forth? (Citation)

When asked whether the law would make it legal for a business to refuse to serve gay customers, the governor who signed it refused to answer six times. If it wasn't intended to make this legal, why...

It's not just gay marriage though. There's also the whole birth control and abortion thing. And more generally the line that Christians are being persecuted and need more legal protections in this country has been growing for awhile now. See the "War on Christmas" for a particularly silly angle, but generally the right wing Christians see their ideas losing influence and are fighting back. They perceive not being in charge as being persecuted. If they can't keep using the government to attack, they can at least keep it from protecting their targets.


True, but it's gay marriage that's brought this to a head. Abortion and contraception has had a slow but steady movement in favor of the right wingers. Gay marriage has had the opposite, especially in the last few years.


The Fox wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Some things have gotten better since 1776. A few things have gotten worse.
There is no comparing the U.S. of 1776 (or even of 1787, when the Constitution was ratified) with the U.S. of today. Our founding fathers would be pleased indeed.

So what do you think of the reach of DoHS/NSA these days? And what would it be if all the leaks hadn't happened? o_o

If that isn't worse than what the Founders had in mind then I don't know what is. Power like that could be turned for ill as easily as not.


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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
True, but it's gay marriage that's brought this to a head. Abortion and contraception has had a slow but steady movement in favor of the right wingers. Gay marriage has had the opposite, especially in the last few years.

Well, Hobby Lobby was an abortion case. (Really birth control not abortion, but that's what they claimed.)

But it's all part of the larger movement. The whole "America is a Christian nation" thing, which is really just part of the backlash to the 60s and the unholy alliance of the Republican party and the religious right.


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The Fox wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, this whole bill is terrible. I would dread having to go into Indiana and see anything resembling a "Straights Only" sign hanging in a restaurant window. Because then I'd be obliged to vandalize it in a million different ways, and I'm too pretty for jail/fines.

The whole thing about this bill that is baffling is that as near as I can tell it would have little to no effect on 90% of businesses.

Namely, any business that doesn't have access to the personal records of the people who walk in.

Some cafe puts up a "Straights Only" sign and...what? Did somebody invent an actual, literal Gaydar while I wasn't looking?

Other signs that would be allowed under this law:

NO JEWS

NO CHRISTIANS

NO MUSLIMS

NO PROTESTANTS

NO CATHOLICS

NO SUNNIS

NO SHIITES

NO SUFIS

NO ATHEISTS

NO BUDDHISTS

NO ZEN BUDDHISTS

NO MORMONS

You get the point. For many of those, the business owner has no way of discerning if a potential customer meets the requirements for discrimination. So a potential customer has the choice to deny their group affiliation to obtain the service of the business. For Christians in particular, this is a fairly damaging prospect. (Matthew 10:33)

Interesting interpretation of that passage.

This whole line of thought, rather whimsically, made me think of this:

"Now Miriam plays piano every Friday at the Hollywood
And they brought me down to see her and they asked me if I would
"Do a little number, and I sang with all my might
She said, 'Tell me, are you a Christian, child?' and I said, 'Ma'am I am tonight.'"

Oh, and ... this person's certainly covering all the bases mentioning Catholics, Protestants and Christians. May the Orthodox come and eat? :)


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Anybody remember the time people found out that Chik-Fil-A donated money to groups that advocated for the execution of homosexuals and then social media caused a huge boycott that drove them out of business?

A true story that I would appreciate further investigation on.

Not long past, near where my father had worked, a Chik-fil-A was being built. Curious, he walked over there one evening to say hello to the workers and ask how things were going.

To make a long story short and abbreviate some steps inbetween, he ended up introduced to a number of the workers. Most of them did not speak English. One out of ten did, because that is what you needed to coordinate efforts--someone to translate the orders for everyone else, per group.

They told him this was the usual arrangement, and showed him the trailer where they were kept. Inside the trailer was a cage wall.

The idea was this: they were forced to live/work around the clock on the job site, then were packed away and shuttled to the next job site to work the same hours, under the same conditions. This is how Chic-fil-A (and perhaps other companies) build so fast.

The men couldn't speak English, were watched constantly, and were continually moved around, so they had no protections against the treatment and long hours.

He told me the men were desperate to share their story, in hopes someone would listen.

This wasn't some random person. This was my father, and it is a tale told within the last two years. I'd appreciate anyone else who has spoken with these workers, and invite y'all to share the tale.

Sometimes they who yell the loudest about values...

Have skeletons of their own.


thejeff wrote:

Well, it doesn't speak to the Indiana law directly, but Democrats in Georgia appear to have killed (or at least stalled) a similar bill by adding an amendment stating that it doesn't allow "citing religious liberty as a reason to subvert state non-discrimination laws."

This led the bill's sponsors to table the bill saying "that amendment would completely undercut the purpose of the bill."

Brilliant.

And telling.


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I assume that your father called the authorities to report human traffickers.

Liberty's Edge

Quark Blast wrote:
There's a reason our constitution has the right to bear arms for it's citizenry. And for the time and place it was written, those arms were essentially state-of-the-art military-grade personal armament.

Yeah, the Northern States didn't want a standing army due to expense and ideological issues, and the Southern ones wanted armed militias under local control around to kill uppity black folk.

Overthrowing the government had nothing to do with it. Go read the drafts and the debate over it. Or ask Daniel Shays or the Whiskey Rebels what the founding fathers thought of that.


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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
True, but it's gay marriage that's brought this to a head. Abortion and contraception has had a slow but steady movement in favor of the right wingers. Gay marriage has had the opposite, especially in the last few years.

The recent push of the last few years has been because of a few corner cases that were well-publicized as the government being willing to destroy one's livelihood for unpopular opinion. One would think that twenty years of RFRA laws being enacted with minimal issues would have provided guidance for how to write and pass such a law, and how to respond to it.

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