The Advocate reports that Indiana Governor Mike Pence has just signed into law Senate Bill 101, known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act but better described as the “Legal Right to Discriminate Act.” He did it in a private ceremony, and issued a written statement after the fact.
The law is one of those Orwellian bills that couches the right to discriminate with the phrase “religious freedom,” a can of worms that the $COTU$ opened up when they issued their tragic Hobby Lobby ruling.
The statement reads in part:
Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith. The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.
If they think being told to respect other people is attack by government action, maybe someone should gather them up and drop them into Saudi Arabia. Then they’ll see what a real attack by government action looks like.
On Wednesday, the CEO of Gen Con wrote an open letter to Pence, telling him that Gen Con would pull their event from the state, along with the estimated $50 million in revenue it brings, if Pence singed it. Activist, actor, and equal rights proponent, George Takei, also jumped in, promising a boycott of the state if the bill got signed.
This was enough to scare Jan Brewer from signing similar legislation last year, but Governor Pence is far too brave and bold to be intimidated by something like a mere $50 million in lost revenue to the state. Indiana is rolling in cash, didn’t you hear?
Major businesses, activists, and organizations spoke out against the bill, including Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. After the bill got signed today, Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com — an S&P 500 constituent company — cancelled all programs that would require customers and employees to travel into Indiana in a Facebook announcement reading:
Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers & employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exhalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” — Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
Even organizers of an upcoming Christian Church gathering (Disciples of Christ) warned that they would consider pulling the annual even if the “license to discriminate” legislation was signed. The associate general minister and vice president of the Indianapolis-based denomination told the Indianapolis Star that, “Our perspective is that hate and bigotry wrapped in religious freedom is still hate and bigotry.”
Unfortunately, right-wing Christians are far too conceited and morally nihilistic to see that.