Three days ago I posted a picture of the signing of Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Bill” by governor Mike Pence:
Apparently there was another photo, too, with a different group of “guests” at the signing, including lobbyists And some of those guests were identified by the GLAAD Facebook page with the caption, “Some of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s guests at the signing of the state’s ‘license to discriminate’ bill look familiar to us.” (GLAAD’s former name was “Gay & Lesbian Alliance against defamation”.)
To make it easier for you to see what these people have said about homosexuality, here are the links (note—it ain’t pretty!):
Note that, according to GLAAD, Governor Pence refused to identify lobbyists in the photo when asked by the Indianapolis Star newspaper That is indeed the case, for here’s the Star‘s article verifying it:
Who did Gov. Mike Pence invite to a private ceremony at his Statehouse office for the signing of a controversial “religious freedom” bill?
His office won’t say.
The event was closed to the public and the press. His staff even told a reporter to leave the governor’s office lobby/waiting area during the ceremony. And when asked for a list of attendees, they declined, promising a photograph would be posted on Pence’s Twitter account.
His office then declined to identify those in the photo.
The photo includes Pence sitting at his desk, surrounded by 18 others. The legislation’s primary sponsors – Sen. Scott Schneider, Sen. Dennis Kruse, and Rep. Tim Wesco – are pictured. So, too are several Franciscan monks, nuns, and orthodox Jews. One of the monks appears to be Fr. David Mary Engo of the Franciscan Brothers Minor in New Haven. He testified in favor of the bill during legislative hearings.
But according to people who attended, there were dozens of others present as well, perhaps as many as 80 total.
Another photograph, posted on Twitter by the American Family Association of Indiana’s Micah Clark, shows Pence at his desk surrounded by a different group. They include the state’s three most prominent lobbyists on conservative social issues: Clark, the Indiana Family Institute’s Curt Smith, and Advance America’s Eric Miller.
Those three, with their connections to a vast network of conservative churches, led a failed effort last year to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana’s constitution. The governor has tried to distance the religious freedom legislation from that issue.
Pence is a real piece of work: a dissimulator and a liar who continues to deny both that the new bill legalizes discrimination or that it was motivated by animus against gays. However, both of those happen to be true.
As Pundit Fact reports:
At least five times Sunday, ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos asked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence a variant on a simple question about Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act: “If a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?”
And at least five times, Pence would not answer.
The article goes on to analyze how this bill differs from those of other states, and fact-checks claims by Pence and others about it. It’s well worth reading.
This, of course, is the predictable outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which ruled that a family-owned business could, on religious grounds, refuse to pay for contraceptive care for its employees. That opened a whole can of worms, which allows the damn Republicans to follow suit everywhere, denying gays equal protection. How far one can legalize this kind of unconscionable discrimination is unknown, but there will be plenty of cases. And if you can discriminate against gays on religious grounds, who else can you discriminate against?
To show the pervasiveness of this kind of discrimination, and the baffling animus against gays (I can understand it only as a byproduct of religious “morality”), here are two comments that people attempted to post on this site in the last three days:
From reader “R.C.”:
I’m thrilled about this new bill! Go Pence! Indiana is putting an end to LGBT “rights” insanity.
And from reader “DesertDaave”:
Perhaps in Indiana, I, a cake baker, can now choose to not bake a wedding cake specifically depicting a same sex marriage. Or, I a florist, don’t have to deliver flowwers [sic] to celebrate a gay marriage.
So fricken’ what? There are lots of bakers and lots of flowers. Why should the baker of the florist have to recognize what he or she believes is sinful.
As to the rest of what the haters are ranting, it just isn’t true.
Read and pay attention to this: [link to piece on religious freedom laws].
As a side note, I believe that those who have sued and received damages have deliberately gone to those they knew wouldn’t do it, just to create a legal issue. Freedom goes both ways you know or should.
“What he or she believes is sinful”? Seriously? What if Christians think that Jews are sinful by denying the Messiah Jesus Christ? Can they discriminate against Jews? As for those who were discriminated against and sued, I don’t believe for a minute that they planned it.