Outrage expressed on social media combined with business objections just may be the undoing of a foul law in Indiana that could permit discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people.
Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill into law last week and has become an outspoken defender of it. If he has any political sense, that should change.
The law goes into effect in July. It prohibits state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs, The Associated Press reports. The definition of “person” includes businesses, associations and religious institutions.
So if a person (company or association) opposes same sex marriage, that individual could refuse service to a couple wanting a wedding cake, floral arrangement or place to tie the knot.
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Angies’s List in response to the law is suspending a planned multimillion-dollar expansion in Indianapolis. Expect more fallout like that.
On Facebook, one post with a picture of young, well-dressed African American college students sitting at a lunch counter in the 1960s being refused service says, “Dear Indiana, In case you missed it, we’ve already had this conversation. You don’t get to decide who sits at the lunch counter. Love, America.”
A second post says, “Isn’t it interesting that a country founded to allow freedom from religious persecution is now using religion to persecute freedoms?”
In third post, George Hosato Takei, the actor who plays Sulu in the old “Star Trek” series and movies, writes, “If you have to make laws to hurt a group of people just to prove your morals and faith, then you have no true morals or faith to prove.”
A fourth post of a highway sign says: “Now entering Indiana. Please turn your clocks back 200 years.”