Last week, Governor Pence of Indiana signed legislation that would allow bigots to practice their bigotry while knowing that the law was on their side. He was warned ahead of time that the Hoosier State would face blow-back from numerous sources; after all, this sort of thing isn’t what we do in places that don’t start with “Saudi” and end in “Arabia.”
But he did it anyway, and now, the blow-back is coming at his hapless state like a semi-truck.
The legislation drew threats of a boycott from “Star Trek” actor and LGBT activist George Takei, who followed through with the Twitter hashtag #BoycottIndiana. The first openly gay NBA player, Jason Collins, also took to Twitter, hitting Pence with a pointed question:
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) March 23, 2015
Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff canceled any company events in the state, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which will host the Final Four of men’s basketball in Indianapolis, said on Thursday that it was “especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.”
It’s going to affect them in a bad way. The NCAA needs to stop being politically correct and boycott the state like every other thinking adult who cares about humanity.
Other cities have taken action against Pence, as well. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) prohibited the use of taxpayer money to fund any trip to Indiana. The mayor of Seattle, Ed Murry, announced a similar moratorium, saying “Seattleites know that discrimination has no place in our City – that’s just equality ‘101.’”
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is openly gay, said that he was “deeply disappointed.” Hillary Clinton also weighed in on Twitter, saying:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 27, 2015
Some Indianans have responded with stickers reading “This Business Serves Everyone,” which have been spotted in shop windows across several cities.
Pence, who is a potential 2016 presidential candidate, has defended the law time and again, but his defenses have fallen on deaf ears. At one point, Pence himself admitted there was no reason to pass the law, and subsequently made up a bunch of fantasy BS to justify it.
Now that right-wingers have seen bills like this can get passed, senators of that forward-thinking and progressive state, Arkansas, pushed through a similar bill on Friday. Like the one in Indiana, this has also been noticed and condemned by big businesses: in this case, by the biggest business in the free world, none other than Wal-Mart, who issued a statement saying, “We feel this legislation is counter to this core basic belief of respect for the individual and sends the wrong message about Arkansas, as well as the diverse environment which exists in the state.”
Yes, you read right: Wal-Mart is pretending to take a principled stand for once in it’s miserable existence. Given that Arkansas never evolved socially beyond 1850, I don’t see it making much of a difference — unless they back up their words with teeth and close all their stores in the state as a result of the governor singing it.