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Indiana Gov. signs "religious freedom" bill into law

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by SnarkShark, Mar 26, 2015.

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  1. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    Hearing a lot that this could lead to the discrimination of LGBT folks, but pretty much every article I've read about it today doesn't touch on any specifics. Anyone have more details on this?

    Indiana Enacts Religious-Objections Law - WSJ
  2. It's pretty simple: the law states that it "prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion." Given that for some people, "exercise of religion" encompasses every waking moment, it covers a broad spectrum.

    The intent of these laws is clear; it's a response to wedding photographers/cake-bakers, etc., being in hot water for denying services to gay couples. But these laws are written broadly and open a Pandora's Box. So if someone channeled his/her inner L. Ron Hubbard tomorrow and started a religion with a tenet that blue-eyed people were the devil's minions and should be cast aside, their discrimination would be protected through this law.

    To bring it to sports for a moment -- the NFL, which holds its Scouting Combine in Indiana each year, has yet to comment, even though it put out a statement asserting it would be "following the issue" (code for "we'll yank the Super Bowl, you yahoos") when Arizona considered a similar bill. The NCAA has expressed "concern," but with the Final Four next weekend and its HQs in downtown Indianapolis, is probably stuck for the moment.

    Neither organization is fit to be an overarching moral arbiter, but both have made their perspectives on this issue clear over the years.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  3. Amy

    Amy Well-Known Member

    Here is the legislative history/language:


    Here is the federal statute on which it is patterned;

    42 U.S. Code § 2000bb–4 - Establishment clause unaffected | LII / Legal Information Institute

    The federal law was the basis of Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc (US Sup. Ct. 2014), in which the Court's majority found a closely held for-profit company was a person that could have sincere religious beliefs, protected under the statute. The Court went on to hold that Hobby Lobby did not have to provide insurance that included certain forms of birth control, which act to inhibit a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

    The Indiana legislature saw no reason why all legal entities couldn't have sincerely held religious beliefs, so to avoid pesky litigation, included language extending the state law's application to all forms of doing business, including corporations.

    Supporters of the Indiana law argued it would ensure individuals and businesses will not have to provide their services to same-sex weddings. However, as Hobby Lobby shows, its provisions are not likely to be so limited in application.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    1) This has nothing to do with the establishment clause, no matter what the Supreme Court has done to make a mess of the judiciary with its idiocy. The establishment clause was put in to keep Congress from taking us from a secular, free country to a theocracy with an established religion.

    2) That Indiana law takes the notion of "religious freedom" to the absurd. We might as well just sanction anarchy in the name of "religious freedom." I mean, why can't I exclude blacks and asians from my business with the claim that my religion doesn't approve of them? What if your religion is into human sacrifice?

    3) For the life of me, I can not understand why people have a need to stick their nose into everyone else's private business. You own a business. Worry about providing something that people want to buy, not who a potential customer slept with last night. Is their money any less green than the person your dumbass religion likes?

    4) If I ever get a hint of any of this nonsense from any business near where I live, I am going to do everything in my power to remind every and any potential customer that they have "freedom to not do business with bigots." That's not written into the constitution either, but it's more consistent with the values in our constitution than this ridiculous notion that the establishment clause was put in there to codify people's bigotry.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Aren't conventions the primary industry in Indianapolis?

    They're going to regret this.
  6. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Christians must be stopped.
    old_tony likes this.
  7. Spartan Squad

    Spartan Squad Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't this law violate the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment? I ask because that is basically how they stopped a lot of the Jim Crow laws and how libel suits are shot down (if I remember my mass comm law 101 class correctly).

    If it doesn't, what I would love to see is a Muslim business deny service to someone on religious grounds and see Indiana have to defend its law.
  8. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Why would anyone be upset about what Muslims do?
  9. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    Is this thread locked yet?

    Could a business decide that their sincerely held religious beiefs would exclude pregnant women from working in their establishment? Could a White Supremacist based religion declare that blacks are not people and there fore they do not have to accept them as customers? A Muslim care deaership that refuses to sell cars to women?

    I would hope that these religious businesses are proud enough of their beliefs to put a sign out front letting us know whether Jews, Blacks and dogs are allowed.
  10. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    I'm curious how the courts will decide what does and doesn't qualify as a religious belief. Indiana outlaws liquor sales on Sundays. I want to see someone claim that such a law is a restriction of their religious beliefs and that the state doesn't have a compelling interest in that restriction.
  11. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    A moderately observant Jewish writer does free-lance work writing and assembling press kits and marketing materials for groups around town. A Muslim group approaches him, wanting him to help them put together some virulently anti-semitic/anti-Israel materials. He refuses to help, arguing that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. The good news is, absent laws such as under consideration in Indiana, it will be relatively straightforward to haul him into court on anti-discrimination charges.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    1) If you can find me a Muslim group with that agenda. ... trying to hire a Jew for that reason. ... sure, we can have that conversation. It is an absurd hypothetical. The reality is that this is a law designed to make Christians feel better about being bigots toward gays and lesbians. Let's call it what it is and then discuss it for what it is.

    2) Absent this legislation, no, nobody would be hauling anyone into court with your absurd Muslim / Jew hypothetical. It would be relegated to the dustbin of humanity, the way it always has been. You can't legislate away bigotry, nor should we doing the opposite (what this law tries to do) and codifying that bigotry. I'd love a world in which there aren't morons out there who want to discriminate against people because of their sexuality. Unfortunately, there is no even way to legislate that kind of world into existence. It will never happen until people learn not to be so hateful toward each other. No law can do that.
    Smallpotatoes and FileNotFound like this.
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