Indiana Governor 'Looking Forward' to Signing Bill That Ensures Sweeping Discrimination
The Indiana House of Representatives passed a religious "freedom" bill Monday 63-31 that will allow private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate anywhere at any time against any person they so choose based on religious grounds.
A similar bill already cleared the state Senate. Once the two bills are reconciled, it will head to the desk of Gov. Mike Pence, who can't wait to sign it into law.
"The legislation, SB 101, is about respecting and reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact. I strongly support the legislation and applaud the members of the General Assembly for their work on this important issue. I look forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk."
What a great opportunity for Pence to enact policies that will allow a chosen few to trample all over the rights of everyone else—as was made clear while the bill was being debated.
Rep. Bruce Borders, R-Jasonville, spoke about an anesthesiologist who didn't want to anesthetize a woman in preparation for an abortion. Borders said he believes the Bible's command to "do all things as unto the Lord" means religious believers need to be protected not just in church, but in their workplaces as well.
Enough of the haters—head below the fold for some pro-LGBT perspectives.
Here's a little dose of reality on what this bill will do.
If signed into law, this bill could empower police officers to refuse to patrol the areas around synagogues or mosques, allow doctors to withhold medically-necessary information from their patients, or expose the LGBT community to a wave of new forms of discrimination.
Jenny Pizer, senior attorney at the LGBT legal advocacy group Lambda Legal:
"Once the governor signs this bill into law, women, racial minorities, religious minorities, people living with HIV and many others will be much more vulnerable to the whims of any individual or business owner who refuses services to particular groups of people based on religious objections to who those people are."
Kate Kendell, attorney and executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
This bill is a lethal threat to every civil rights gain for every community. Please Veto #SB101 via @VetoSB101 http://t.co/TtuSdiFxFr— Kate Kendell (@Kate Kendell) 1427147789.0
If you get the sense that Pence doesn't quite get what this bill represents or that he just doesn't care, here's an opportunity to weigh in.