Monday, April 06, 2015

hate pays

let's give this as little attention as possible.

but just enough to provide a cautionary tale.

in the wake of signing indiana's discriminatory "religious freedom restoration act," governor mike pence was asked if it should be legal to discriminate.

he refused to answer the question.

instead, he launched into full-on victim mode, complaining how "misunderstood" the new law was, and how horribly "mischaracterized" it had been.

the very next week, after businesses, religious groups, local governments, state governments, and countless individuals threatened to boycott indiana, the law was revised.

"Specifically, the new language says the RFRA does not authorize a provider — including businesses or individuals — to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, goods, employment, housing or public accommodation to any member of the public based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex or military service."

so apparently the law in its original form was pretty well understood after all, n'est-ce pas?

one more thing pence said (and the point of this little exercise), was that there was no reason for concern the law might be used as cover for discrimination.

"come on!" pence objected. "hoosiers don't believe in discrimination."

no, of course not.

and yet almost immediately one hoosier restaurant jumped into the news saying it would refuse to cater a gay wedding. after a deluge of negative reviews on yelp and facebook, the business closed. yay, social media.

soon thereafter, a gofundme page set up to support that business raised nearly $850,000 in two days. i haven't seen their books, but let's agree that $850K is more money than this mom and pop pizza shop in northern indiana would see in its shabby lifetime.

conclusion: lots of hoosiers (and others) believe in discrimination so fervently, they're willing to bankroll it to the tune of almost a million bucks.

here's another example of a florist in washington state who refused to sell flowers to a gay couple for their wedding. a crowdfunding campaign for her netted more than $80,000.

conclusion II: lots of americans don't really believe in the concept of america. they will gladly deprive their fellow citizens of basic civil rights if they think they can get away with it.

this is a good thing to remember any time you hear some (invariably republican) legislator say the fine people of his/her constituency would never discriminate by hiding behind a law passed to enable discrimination.

conclusion III: when in doubt...follow the money.

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