Indiana went and did it today. They announced to the country that they’re willing to allow what seems like the potential for large scale discrimination. Individuals and business owners can refuse service to people by citing religious beliefs. These laws, which are cropping up more and more, don’t usually say they’re targeted at LGBT citizens in an effort to ensure that business that don’t want to deal in gay weddings don’t have to. It’s more generalized.
I’m not a lawyer, but based on what I’ve read these laws mean a person can be discriminated against based on anything that a business or individual feels is against their religious beliefs. Sorry, no Jewish people allowed here. Sorry, you’re an interracial couple, I won’t serve you. Sorry, you’re an atheist, please leave. The list of possible things that could be cited is endless. That means these could backfire too and the very people putting these laws into place could be discriminated against. I’m sorry, I don’t serve those who vote for discrimination.
I’m sad that our country continues to try to rip itself apart instead of our leaders stepping up and actually leading towards the path laid out in the Constitution where we’re all created equal and allowed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. People are so caught up in trying to create second class citizens that society could just fly apart into a million fragments all hating each other.
Honestly it’s too bad measures such as what was in Oklahoma aren’t drafted along side the discrimination bills. In Oklahoma there was a rider that would require businesses to display signage about who wasn’t welcome. Rather than allow that part to pass, the discrimination bill died. Haters are happy to hate, as long as they don’t have to advertise it. Of course, as soon as a business does discriminate, it’ll be all over social media so that people against these bills will know specifically where not to spend their money. I know that if I knew of a specific business that discriminated against anyone I would never bring them my business again.
In the meantime, I plan to do my best to not spend money in states with these laws. I don’t want to go there and I don’t want to support their economy in any fashion. Kudos to Salesforce. The CEO there said the company would curtail their activities in Indiana because they don’t want their employees subject to potential discrimination. Hopefully others follow, including the NCAA (No, I don’t expect them to move the upcoming basketball tourney because that’s a logistical nightmare — although it’d be awesome if they did…but the organization needs to reconsider any other Indiana-based events). I’ve read of other organizations, including some religious ones, considering pulling out of events in the state. Indiana clearly didn’t learn from Arizona where a similar law was vetoed at the last minute when companies, including the NFL, threatened to pull out.
It’s sad that in 2015 we’re facing issues that drive us apart as a people more than bringing us together. It’s even worse when our elected officials are the ones driving the wedges. We can only hope that the courts quickly strike down these laws and that in future elections the people who draft these bills, vote yes on these bills and sign these bills are swept out office. We deserve better government than this, but we have to stand up and vote for it to get it!