Saturday, March 28, 2015

RFRA Opponents Showing More Of Their Backside

The manipulation of public opinion through false information has no bounds. I've said before that I believed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA") legislation was totally unnecessary; however, the fact remains RFRA never was characterized as representing government-sanctioned discrimination against any group of people, in particular gays, until the debate came to Indiana after 19 states had already enacted state RFRA laws modeled after the version passed by Congress more than two decades ago.

When RFRA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993, it overwhelming passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), an outspoken critic of gay rights, was one of only three senators to vote against it. When Illinois passed RFRA in 1998, then-State Sen. Barack Obama voted for it. It is shocking and disturbing that one side of a political debate can be allowed to advance phony arguments with the full backing of the media.

A point I don't hear discussed is the fact that under both the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Indiana's Civil Rights Act, an employer is permitted to discriminate against a person based on their sexual orientation. An employer cannot discriminate under those laws based on a person's sex, race or religion, but it can discriminate based on a person's sexual orientation. Why aren't the opponents of RFRA focusing their attention on changing those laws instead of claiming RFRA does something it doesn't do?

It's no wonder we now live in a country where an element of the government can assassinate a president, civil rights leaders and other world leaders with impunity and carry out false flag events and propaganda campaigns against its own people and have the media castigate the discerning citizens among us as crackpot conspiracy theorists. Creating false realities is now the modus operandi.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't Illinois have separate legislation that protects gays from discrimination though? I thought that since IN has no such protection (nor do they plan to from what I gather) was the cause of much of the hoopla surrounding RFRA?? I could be wrong though, just trying to figure it all out.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Illinois didn't add that protection in its law until long after it passed RFRA. I believe the non-discrimination language was added to Illinois' civil rights law in 2011.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I am an adult out gay male with a political philosophy akin far more to Burke and Locke rather than Trotsky and Alinsky. I am thoroughly appalled at this vile video which is full of hate, intolerance, and outright lies. But this is exactly what the left of center liberal Democrat excel at creating. Liberal Democrats refuse to accept any election result or legal verdict that is contrary to their positions. They refuse to accept majority rule when the ballot box defeats them and their positions. How ironic that some gay and lesbian hardcore left liberal Democrats who work to set the agenda for LGBT "rights" are the most hateful, most racist, most intolerant of all. The difference between a ("capital C") Conservative and a Liberal Democrat is that the Conservative will hear you out. The left liberal Democrat will shout you down and shut you up.

I am not saying some of the overall goals of groups like Freedom Indiana are unworthy, it is that their leadership- often UNELECTED- is itself bigoted and full of acrimony and sour grapes.

Eric Morris said...

Wouldn't it be better for bigots of all kinds to be "outed" by their actions rather than remain "closeted" through laws preventing them from discriminating? Allow the marketplace of ideas and dollars and cents to prevail. With that said, though I am against government, since it exists I am 100% for laws against government discrimination, or for that matter using the law to enforce private discrimination (such as police not being allowed to enforce trespass laws against someone just because they are Asian). Too deep of thoughts for a world controlled by CIA/NSA disinformation plots. Go Colts!

Pete Boggs said...

IAF TV: Indoctrinate Abusive Fascist's Television, Intellectually Abject Fascism...

Their bigotry, aimed at those who don't share their "orthodoxy," unwittingly betrays an ugly "expertise."

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 9:03,

Whether a state has a sexual orientation anti-discrimination law is irrelevant to the RFRA. If an anti-discrimination law doesn't exist, service can be denied. If an anti-discrimination law exists, service cannot be denied. Yes the RFRA can be asserted as a defense to complying with an anti-discrimination law, but that argument has never prevailed because the court has always found there was a compelling interest and upheld the application of the anti-discrimination law.

The whole campaign against the RFRA in Indiana was pointless. Freedom Indiana should be concentrating on passing an anti-discrimination law. Instead it engaged in a pointless fight against the RFRA.

I am beginning to think that after the same sex marriage battle last year, Freedom Indiana had a downturn in fundraising and was using a phony, overhyped fight against the RFRA to raise money for the organization. In the end though it hurt the LGBT cause because of their vicious political strategy which is good for raising money, not so good for winning votes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for answering my question! I really appreciate your blog and all the hard work you put into it.

johnnystir said...

I don't support these kinds of ads. There are plenty of other ways to protest this piece of legislation than these sad ads to portray opponents as bigots.

Anonymous said...

You know Wal Mart is considering pulling its headquarters out of Alabama after they passed similar legislation today. And I wonder if Indiana won’t just change their mind about their stupid passing of it if an organization like the NCAA decides to leave Indiana. Perhaps all your conservative justifications are just the dying bleating of sad old men completely out of sync with the tide of the times, trying to justify your grotesque discriminations as if the whole matter hadn’t really been decided long ago. You don’t get to pick who sits at your luncheonette counter. You don’t get to stop people from marrying outside their race or inside their same sex group based on your silly religious rules. And trying to codify the right to defend your gross behaviors and attitudes as some necessary defense of your religion is not convincing the young of America, who have already called you out as bigots. Indiana should get rid of the obnoxious legislation and be done with it. Have you listened to rank and file Christians try to defend the intent of the legislation. I have, and its nauseating. This is just uber right wing conservatives having a stroke because the courts are mandating same sex marriage in Indiana. They would pass anything at this point to inflict pain on the homosexual community. Its payback. Its ugly. And you homosexuals who support the Act are the saddest of them all.

Anonymous said...

And doesn't Anon 12:21 point the point? This is Anon 9:25... as for my remark, show me where in my previous comment I indicate I support the RFRA.

What I do NOT support is exactly the name-calling, false logic, and demagoguery used by people like Anon 12:21 to defend their anger and prejudice to bully others... others who have the right to believe as they do and live their lives as they desire.

Did you read Ogden's history and analyses of the RFRA? Have you read Gary Welsh's equally excellent points on the RFRA?

No... Anon 12:21 is going to repeat unfounded news that certain corporations will withdraw from the State- or refuse to book events in the State- because of RFRA. And by the way, I find it hilarious that liberal Democrats are using Walmart- a company they often decry- as a model for why the RFRA is a "danger" to life on the planet as we know it.

Anonymous said...

12:21 is the reason the RFRA was needed. He wants A Christian bakery to have to make gay wedding cakes. He doesn't want the gay couple to find a more friendly baker; he wants everyone to do exactly as a gay person wants. He's a tyrant who is agitating for forced normalization.

You lost, 12:21.

Can I contribute to a Kickstarter to help the NCAA leave? That anti-freedom protection racket for colleges is a blight on Indianapolis.

I'd like to see RICO used on that group of scumballs who use the most disgusting means to keep players from getting a rightful and market-determined paycheck for their services.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:21
As far as I know, there is no Wal Mart headquarters in Alabama. I think the state you are referring to is Arkansas. And I would bet that Hell will freeze over before Wal Mart leaves Arkansas. You are only off by about 600 miles but your vile, hate filled opinion against Christianity and conservatives is off by light years. "Suck" it up and get over it. California is a big state....why don't you pack up and move there where you may find people are more tolerant towards liberal "ways". It's Indiana...
a cradle of conservatism.

Anonymous said...

Republicans love to "clarify" their bigotry, as if we can't see their true intent.
"Just to be clear, making gay and lesbian Indiana residents a protected legal class is not on my agenda." Oh, you've made that clear, governor, don't worry.
If your faith in God is so fragile that baking a cake for a gay couple compromises it, then you have much bigger problems than The LBGT Community.
To avoid embarrassment to possible customers, it should be mandatory for businesses to prominently display a sign stating which customers their religion won't allow them to serve.
Back in the 1960s, in Loving v. Virginia several churches filed briefs saying that mixed race marriages went against their religious beliefs.
Before the Civil War Christians proclaimed that slavery was part of their religious beliefs.
Funny how discrimination and religion go together so well.
I thought about that and all those lunch counters people were beaten at and spit on, and now in Indiana, you can just say, "serving them is against my religious beliefs?"
"We don't serve your kind here." All they have to do is say somebody is gay. They don't have to prove it.

Anonymous said...

literally hundreds of other lawyers and law professors completely refute the idea this law is the same as other state's and the federal law. In your opinion none of us have read the law? That is what i call an arrogant and dismissive attitude. We happen to think Paul Ogden is wrong in his analysis.
Pence was warned by business leaders, his team figured this would blow over, but he has been so high handed in governing like a landslide winner and introducing bills which he never suggested during his election that it finally hit critical mass.

Bob Ostrander said...

IMHO RFRA isn't a gay issue. It's a charter school issue. Once those corporations (written specifically into the law) can refuse service to Muslims, apparent Muslims and all sorts of Brown and Black people, they can entice more students to their "safe schools".

See my op.ed. Dribs, Drams, and we’ll be in-discriminate about it. for a full discussion.

pat traub said...

The debate on the merits of the Indiana RFRA can only go forward when its advocates admit it is not "like" the federal or Illinois RFRAs. Indiana extends the INDIVIDUAL (at time of passage) protections to any corporation. Arizona is the perfect example -- no controversy until the legislature attempted to extend the individual protection to any corporation. One cannot argue the Indiana school zone speed limit of 25 mph is like the Wyoming interstate speed limit of 80 mph simply because they are both speed limits. And, perhaps RFRA supporters would be better served if their mouthpieces were not specifically touting the new benefit of RFRA that the new protected class of corporations are not empowered to deny service.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Pat, First of all, the federal RFRA has been interpreted to apply to corporations. See the Hobby Lobby decision. Secondly, Indiana's RFRA does not apply to all corporations, only closely-held corporations. The actual definition is "a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation,
a company, a firm, a society, a joint-stock company, an
unincorporated association, or another entity that:
(A) may sue and be sued; and
(B) exercises practices that are compelled or limited by a
system of religious belief held by:
(i) an individual; or
(ii) the individuals;
who have control and substantial ownership of the entity,
regardless of whether the entity is organized and operated for
profit or nonprofit purposes.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Also, Pat, why do these businesses which oppose RFRA have no problem forcing our state tax dollars to be spent on religious schools as part of the state's Choice Scholarship program?

pat traub said...

Thank you, Gary, for elevating the debate with facts. So, neither "Clinton et al" nor "Obama et al" actually voted to include non-individuals in "their RFRAs?" And, closely-held corporations were not added until 20 years later through Hobby Lobby? I probably dispute the definition of a corporation as limiting but then Alito wasn't willing to define how big a corporate had to be before it stopped being a person either. As for corporate support/lack of opposition to religious-based vouchers, I would only attempt to speak for myself. My grandfather and father were proud to pay their taxes AND fund our Catholic education without complaint. Render under Caesar...I also recall I began working at the St. Philip Neri bingo when I was in the sixth or seventh grade. Render under God...some folks might have fun arguing that "church bingos" fall outside a compelling interest -- moot court someday?

Gary R. Welsh said...

The original RFRA expressly included non-profit corporations, which included some very large corporations in the health, education and charitable arena. That was part of the majority's rationale in including privately-held companies like Hobby Lobby within the meaning of "person."