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Why Indiana's RFRA Law is Different

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posted on Mar, 30 2015 @ 11:16 PM
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This has been a topic of much debate lately and I've read that many other states have the same law so I wondered why Indiana was getting so much heat. Turns out their version is a bit different from the others.

thinkprogress.org

Every other Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to disputes between a person or entity and a government. Indiana’s is the only law that explicitly applies to disputes between private citizens.* This means it could be used as a cudgel by corporations to justify discrimination against individuals that might otherwise be protected under law.

* Texas’ RFRA, enacted in 1999, contains similar — but not identical — language. The Texas law, however, also specificly exempts civil rights protections from the scope of the law.



Beyond the differences between the Indiana law and other states, many of the other states that have a RFRA also have a law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Indiana does not have one.

Apparently this law is different and in most of Indiana LGBT is not a protected class so the door for legal discrimination appears to be open now.

Claiming that the Indiana law is just like the laws in 19 other states, is apparently not true.

Apparently it's different from the Federal version as well...
inadvancesheet.wordpress.com
A detailed analysis of some of the differences between the federal version and Indiana's version: joshblackman.com (Assistant Professor of Law at the South Texas College of Law J Blackman)


For a bill that is not targeting LGBT he chose interesting people to attend the signing.

Legalized discrimination is wrong, my simplest argument is that if I own the last chance gas station in death valley and I don't like you I still have to sell you gasoline or water (because of the Federal Civil Rights Acts [legalzoom]).

In cases in which the patron is not a member of a federally protected class, the question generally turns on whether the business's refusal of service was arbitrary, or whether the business had a specific interest in refusing service.

Sounds like if you are not disrupting my business I can't pick and choose my customers when I run a business that is open to the public. I don't see this a fascist or government overreach, it is simply the cost of doing business in the USA (you don't like it open a business somewhere else or change the law at a federal level).

NOTE: In the above example atheist Elton can't discriminate against Methodist Tom because he's in a federally protected group (religion), opening the door for allowing Tom to discriminate against Elton sounds like a bad idea.


The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to "full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin."

So people who feel they have been discriminated against because of their religion already have some legal protections and means of obtaining relief as they can't be discriminated against legally, I absolutely do not support giving their business the right to discriminate while protecting their individual right to not be discriminated against.

The right of public accommodation is also guaranteed to disabled citizens under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which precludes discrimination by businesses on the basis of disability.


This is not a new concept, the problem is that the people who are not protected federally (LGBT) are also not protected in Indiana (and the governor said he has no interest in pursuing that).

But I'm not a lawyer so maybe someone familiar with state law has commented...

Indiana trial lawyer Matt Anderson, discussing this difference, writes that the Indiana law is “more broadly written than its federal and state predecessors” and opens up “the path of least resistance among its species to have a court adjudicate it in a manner that could ultimately be used to discriminate…”

Even if it was not meant to be used to allow discrimination it's written in a way that allows it...

Just saw this headline: Indiana GOP Leader: ‘No Gays Allowed’ Signs Permitted In Most Of State (addictinginfo) as I was finishing up writing this.


Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) and House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) were put in the hot seat when a reporter asked, point blank, about the state’s lack of protections for LGBT people, regardless of this new “religious freedom” law. The reporter said:

“You guys have said repeatedly that we shouldn’t be able to discriminate against anyone, but if you just ignore the existence of this law, can’t we already do that now? Can’t so-and-so in Richmond put a sign up and say ‘No Gays Allowed?’ “That’s not against the law, correct?”

Bosma was forced to answer, saying: “It would depend. If you were in a community that had a human rights ordinance that wouldn’t be the case.”

The reporter pressed on: “But most of the state does not have that, correct?”

Bosma reluctantly answered, “That’s correct.”

Again, Even if it was not meant to be used to allow discrimination it's apparently written in a way that allows it... :/



edit on 30-3-2015 by Elton because: Fix URL




posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 12:44 AM
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As I have had a little time to cool off a bit over this one, some thoughts have popped into my noggin :

1.) How are businesses planning on enforcing this? Are they going to ask every customer their orientation? If I visit Indiana ( not bloody likely any time soon mutter mutter) will; be forced to purchase a special ID card...one that says if I'm straight, gay or attracted to sheep, like I am beginning to assume Mr. Pence might? ( Yes, the snark is strong with this one.)

2.) What happens when a Muslim denies service to a Christian or Jew? (I have my popcorn ready). What about a Presbyterian and a Catholic? Sikh and Buddhist? Baptist and anyone not Baptist?

3.) For that matter, what happens when a gay businessman decides to not serve a straight person? More popcorn!

4.) Since Indianapolis has already given a resound Oh Hell No to this piece of drek, does this mean we can possibly see two states forming? Indianapolis and Bigotistan?

5.) At what point does your "religious freedom" to discriminate cease to interfere with my freedom from your thinly veiled bigotry masquerading as religion?

Sorry. This has been a hot button topic for me, felt a little snarky humour might be useful.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 12:52 AM
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a reply to: Elton

So... people are barking up the wrong tree. They're going after a law that has an amendment (it's not listed in the 'current version' and neither are other amendments that passed in bill actions) preventing it from applying to civil rights violations:

(d) This chapter does not establish or eliminate a defense to: (1) any civil rights law, including, but not limited to, the Indiana Civil Rights law under IC 22-9-1; or (2) a criminal prosecution under state or federal law.


The problem is that there are no civil rights protections for sexual orientation in Indiana to begin with. People before the law could go out and discriminate against sexual orientation, and people after the law can do the same.

What changed with this law, again? People need to fight the real problem.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 01:02 AM
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a reply to: Greven

Unfortunately at the state level the Governor is apparently not interested in making sexual orientation protected.

IndyStar

Asked if that legislation might include making gay and lesbian Hoosiers a protected legal class, Pence said, "That's not on my agenda."


I'm quite interested to see how this story unfolds in the coming months.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 05:53 AM
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a reply to: Elton

This is the unintended consequence of the courts forcing people to serve others against there will and morals.

If the baker wasn't forced to make a gay wedding cake( BTW forcing someone to work for you, whether paid or not is akin to slavery)this wouldn't have happened.

If the flourist wasn't forced under force of law by the courts to make gay wedding flower arrangements( what happened to a business reserving the right to refuse service?) This wouldn't be happening.

IMHO, this is all laid at the feet of the gay community.

They could have gone to another Baker or flourist, but instead, the gay agenda is intent on forcing their views on others.

Even though others are aloud by law to have a different opinion and or set of values.

Why is it the KKK can be as racist ad they want in broad daylight, carry crosses signs saying Ngrs need to die etc in marches and demonstrations.

But the religious fundamentalists can't follow basic tenants of their religion that have been just fine for thousands of years?

The bible flat out says men laying with men, being gay, is a sin.

I am not even religious, but I can understand this.

Why is it so hard to see this is what happens when extremists minorities try to force their views and or morals on others.

I am not saying it is right.

I really don't agree or disagree. I don't have a dog in the fight.

But is it trully so terrible that a religious baker now has a guaranteed right to not have to make a gay wedding cake?

There are plenty of other bakers happy to take the money.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 07:06 AM
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Good. Now if only the rest of the states would follow suit, we could all coexist and live happily ever after... but that's not what you want is it?



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 07:32 AM
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It was explained last night - this law only gives people recourse to defend themselves in courts if they try something on religious grounds and get sued for it. We have seen plenty of examples that not every religious excuse flies.

If people in Indiana want to scream about something, they should ask why there is no sexual orientation provision to existing anti-discrimination laws.

What this will do is allow people like Sikhs to wear their religious daggers, people like Native Americans to be protected in their ceremonies which do include the use of otherwise illegal substances, and, yes, to give other religious people the right to object to being forced to participate in things they might find morally or religiously objectionable.

None of the above are protected from the courts though. It just means they have the right to try to defend themselves and raise that objection. All in all, I don't think the gays have much to worry about. They can go right ahead forcing people to participate in their freedoms.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: Greven

I despise the fact that people are even catagorized and then have to be specifically protected. Why "protected groups?" Why can't it just be protections that extend to every citizen without race, sexual orientation, or anything else being a qualifying factor in order to make them valid for legal protection?

Am I one of the few who remembers this verbiage from the fourteenth amendment?:


No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


We should not need to specify catagories of people in laws--every person is constitutionally guaranteed equal protection under the laws.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

I would agree that we shouldn't, but we also seem to forget the 1st Amendment too. People are free to practice their religion. What some people don't understand is that religious belief and practice for the deeply religious does not end at the church door. It goes into your daily life.

So with this we have issues of the 1st and 14th conflicting.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 08:05 AM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey
a reply to: Greven

I despise the fact that people are even catagorized and then have to be specifically protected. Why "protected groups?" Why can't it just be protections that extend to every citizen without race, sexual orientation, or anything else being a qualifying factor in order to make them valid for legal protection?

Am I one of the few who remembers this verbiage from the fourteenth amendment?:


No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


We should not need to specify catagories of people in laws--every person is constitutionally guaranteed equal protection under the laws.


That doesn't guarantee commerce though does it?

I should not be compelled to do business with or work for anyone I don't want to.

Is it dumb to refuse services to a person simply because they are gay?

Without a doubt it stupid.

But it should still be voluntarily done, not forced.

The way I see it the anti gay business is only hurting itself honestly, as the gay and pro gay community just goes someplace else to spend their money.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 08:06 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: SlapMonkey

I would agree that we shouldn't, but we also seem to forget the 1st Amendment too. People are free to practice their religion. What some people don't understand is that religious belief and practice for the deeply religious does not end at the church door. It goes into your daily life.

So with this we have issues of the 1st and 14th conflicting.



I don't see the conflict.

The 14th doesn't guarantee I must do commerce with anyone.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 08:25 AM
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originally posted by: johnwick
That doesn't guarantee commerce though does it?

I should not be compelled to do business with or work for anyone I don't want to.

Is it dumb to refuse services to a person simply because they are gay?

Without a doubt it stupid.

But it should still be voluntarily done, not forced.

The way I see it the anti gay business is only hurting itself honestly, as the gay and pro gay community just goes someplace else to spend their money.


I absolutely agree with you on this, and I would add that society, with all of its social-media capabilities and overall accepting attitude, will destroy these businesses by (like you said) moving on somewhere else and letting their revenues dry up. The owners will probably lose some friends along the way, too.

I remember as a kid seeing signage on storefronts in California that read something similar to "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone." As privately owned businesses, I believe they should retain that right, but if they're intelligent at all, they will only exercise that right during extreme circumstances, if at all.

It takes a pretty poor human being and business person to refuse business with someone because of race or orientation or how they're dressed or whatever--but on the same note, it takes a pretty poor human being, in my opinion, to think that he government should be able to force a private business to do business with anyone. If they want to be a racist or homophobic business, so be it, but I would hope that they don't last long and that they experience karma in the form of financial ruin in the process.

The vast majority of our society's businesses have moved on past this type of thinking, and I can't help but think that the overall outrage over this IN law shows a severe lack of faith in humanity, as I suspect that any blatant discrimination will be as rare as an uncooked steak.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko

You'll have to specify the conflict, because I fail to see it.

The 14th states that all laws need to be applied equally.

The portion of the 1st concerning religion states that the federal government cannot establish a (national) religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof.

Where is the conflict?



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 08:33 AM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey

originally posted by: johnwick
That doesn't guarantee commerce though does it?

I should not be compelled to do business with or work for anyone I don't want to.

Is it dumb to refuse services to a person simply because they are gay?

Without a doubt it stupid.

But it should still be voluntarily done, not forced.

The way I see it the anti gay business is only hurting itself honestly, as the gay and pro gay community just goes someplace else to spend their money.


I absolutely agree with you on this, and I would add that society, with all of its social-media capabilities and overall accepting attitude, will destroy these businesses by (like you said) moving on somewhere else and letting their revenues dry up. The owners will probably lose some friends along the way, too.

I remember as a kid seeing signage on storefronts in California that read something similar to "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone." As privately owned businesses, I believe they should retain that right, but if they're intelligent at all, they will only exercise that right during extreme circumstances, if at all.

It takes a pretty poor human being and business person to refuse business with someone because of race or orientation or how they're dressed or whatever--but on the same note, it takes a pretty poor human being, in my opinion, to think that he government should be able to force a private business to do business with anyone. If they want to be a racist or homophobic business, so be it, but I would hope that they don't last long and that they experience karma in the form of financial ruin in the process.

The vast majority of our society's businesses have moved on past this type of thinking, and I can't help but think that the overall outrage over this IN law shows a severe lack of faith in humanity, as I suspect that any blatant discrimination will be as rare as an uncooked steak.


I absolutely agree here!!!

This is the knee jerk reaction of liberal courts forcing businesses to serve people.

When a business should be free to ruin itself if it wants to.

I know if I were the business owner I would do business with them.

But as soon as the court ordered me to.....good effing luck.

I would have just went and paid for a new business permit, closed "mikes cakes" and opened "mikes cakes and more" thus relieving myself of the court order.

I would play this game until the day I died before the courts told me who I had to do business with.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 08:33 AM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey

We should not need to specify catagories of people in laws--every person is constitutionally guaranteed equal protection under the laws.


In an ideal world that would be true, unfortunately this cannot happen when you have Christians dictating how they want to treat other people, trying to claim Marriage is theirs to define, attempting to pass bills enslaving other people under their religious dogma.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 08:45 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: SlapMonkey

I would agree that we shouldn't, but we also seem to forget the 1st Amendment too. People are free to practice their religion. What some people don't understand is that religious belief and practice for the deeply religious does not end at the church door. It goes into your daily life.

So with this we have issues of the 1st and 14th conflicting.



Serving a gay person has f-all to do with your religion. There is NOTHING in the Bible about refusing to serve LGBT people, or black people, or Jews, or Muslims. You are manufacturing "beliefs" to allow you to be a bigot.

If those of "deep religious faith" want to discriminate against others because of their "beliefs", they should be forced to show in court that they adhere to EVERY other rule in their book, no picking and choosing when your "deeply held beliefs" apply, solely for your convenience in being a bigot. If you want to preach Leviticus, you have to show that you comply with the rest of it, not just the one thing that allows you to be a nasty cretin towards others.

Finally, if this law has nothing to do with Christians wanting the right to be bigots to LGBT people, why is Pence openly refusing to pass LGBT protections into law? It's really pretty simple, the man cannot claim to be all about equality and freedom while actively refusing to pass legislation protecting ALL from discrimination.

Either way there are always going to be conflicts arriving in court, but nothing about this man, his words or his actions says he is actually against discrimination, while everything he says and does shows that he is actively trying to pass laws allowing Christians to be hateful bigots.

This is going to be interesting to watch, Pence has put himself (and the GOP) in an impossible position. He will either have to make this law worthless, or refuse to change it. Neither is going to help him hold onto his career. If he makes this law pointless the other ignorant Repubs and Fundies will disown him, and if he refuses to change it or reverse course his career is completely over and the people of Indiana will likely be protesting against the Republican party for months to come - and not just in Indiana.

Either way this law is doomed. If Pence doesn't do the right thing his career is finished and he will have damaged the Republican party immeasurably in the process, along with the state of Indiana. Then Dems will take over and put right all the damage the Repubs have done.

There is absolutely no denying that the public is on the right side of this, public opinion is massively against Indiana, the GOP and this law, Pence should get some kind of award for doing so much damage to his own faith, his own party and his own career.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 09:06 AM
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a reply to: Rocker2013

My comment is true because...well, it's true. The problem lies with the apathetic nature citizens and governments. When laws are unjust (targeting one group of people, yet excluding others), then they should be reviewed and struck down as unconstitutional. But we have a current apathetic America, and both the religious right and the Left (and some in between) capitalize on the apathy on a nearly daily basis.

We have gone from a Whiskey-Rebellion* spirit to an a-hashtag-makes-a-big-difference spirit. If that keeps up, things will continue to go unchecked in government.





* Even though the Whiskey Rebellion didn't work out in favor of the people, at least they were willing to rise up in a show of force that meant something.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 09:58 AM
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originally posted by: Rocker2013

originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: SlapMonkey

I would agree that we shouldn't, but we also seem to forget the 1st Amendment too. People are free to practice their religion. What some people don't understand is that religious belief and practice for the deeply religious does not end at the church door. It goes into your daily life.

So with this we have issues of the 1st and 14th conflicting.



Serving a gay person has f-all to do with your religion. There is NOTHING in the Bible about refusing to serve LGBT people, or black people, or Jews, or Muslims. You are manufacturing "beliefs" to allow you to be a bigot.

If those of "deep religious faith" want to discriminate against others because of their "beliefs", they should be forced to show in court that they adhere to EVERY other rule in their book, no picking and choosing when your "deeply held beliefs" apply, solely for your convenience in being a bigot. If you want to preach Leviticus, you have to show that you comply with the rest of it, not just the one thing that allows you to be a nasty cretin towards others.

Finally, if this law has nothing to do with Christians wanting the right to be bigots to LGBT people, why is Pence openly refusing to pass LGBT protections into law? It's really pretty simple, the man cannot claim to be all about equality and freedom while actively refusing to pass legislation protecting ALL from discrimination.

Either way there are always going to be conflicts arriving in court, but nothing about this man, his words or his actions says he is actually against discrimination, while everything he says and does shows that he is actively trying to pass laws allowing Christians to be hateful bigots.

This is going to be interesting to watch, Pence has put himself (and the GOP) in an impossible position. He will either have to make this law worthless, or refuse to change it. Neither is going to help him hold onto his career. If he makes this law pointless the other ignorant Repubs and Fundies will disown him, and if he refuses to change it or reverse course his career is completely over and the people of Indiana will likely be protesting against the Republican party for months to come - and not just in Indiana.

Either way this law is doomed. If Pence doesn't do the right thing his career is finished and he will have damaged the Republican party immeasurably in the process, along with the state of Indiana. Then Dems will take over and put right all the damage the Repubs have done.

There is absolutely no denying that the public is on the right side of this, public opinion is massively against Indiana, the GOP and this law, Pence should get some kind of award for doing so much damage to his own faith, his own party and his own career.


I very strongly disagree.

They should not be dragged into court and forced to prove anything, are you crazy?

The courts do not and should not possess such powers.

It is a business in a free society.

They can refuse services at any time to anyone for any reason they like.

This law would be unnecessary if gays didn't try to force others to accept them.

Guess what, people are free to disagree.

The business loses out in business for this idiotic stance and their competitors gain because they arent idiots.


There is no justification at all under any situation a business or person should be forced to provide labor or services against their desires.

That is the essence of slavery.

I don't care what your stance on gay rights.

It is sbsoluty not your right to force me to serve you or provide you services if I don't want to.

I don't care what the reasons involved period.


edit on 31-3-2015 by johnwick because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 10:24 AM
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The governor is on CNN at the moment clarifying that discrimination is still not allowed.
You cannot refuse service to anyone just because they are a different race, religion, or are gay.
Period.

If you feel the need to discriminate against a group of people, do not open up a business.

People have the right to go into a business and be treated like everyone else.

The "to the back of the bus" bullcrap, is no longer allowed in this day and age.



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 12:05 PM
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originally posted by: johnwick


But the religious fundamentalists can't follow basic tenants of their religion that have been just fine for thousands of years?

The bible flat out says men laying with men, being gay, is a sin.



The Bible says quite a bit which we have chosen, over time, to ignore. Some of the more passionate "Christians" like to say we are no longer under Old Testament Law, we are under Grace. Except for the parts of Old Testament Law we choose to say is still in effect...

If more "Christians" spent their time worrying about their own lives and their own after lives, and less time worrying about what anyone else was doing, things would improve dramatically overnight.

Same type of losers who, in past decades, didn't feel they should provide a service to a black man, a woman, etc.




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