Gay Marriage

Indiana's RFRA—and the Response—Is All About the Signaling

What the law actually says is mostly irrelevant in our cultural climate.

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Gov. Pence (unshown: semaphore flags)
ABC News

There's absolutely no likelihood that any significant number of Indiana businesses are just waiting for an excuse to discriminate against gay people. The state itself doesn't have sexual orientation on its protected list, though some municipalities do, and yet we aren't being pummeled with stories of discrimination against gay hoosiers. Certainly it happens, and there really is no point in pretending that Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is not partly inspired by the desire of Christians in certain lines of work to not have to accommodate gay customers. Gay activists have noted that very vocal antigay people were involved in the drafting of the law and attended the signing ceremony.

There is an absurd awkwardness in the whole dance. Gov. Mike Pence simply refused to answer George Stephanopoulos directly when asked whether the law would allow florists to refuse to offer their services for gay weddings (watch here starting around four minutes in), even though that is most certainly the intent of at least somebody who helped craft the legislation.

It's entirely possible that Pence actually doesn't know. That's what's awkward about an RFRA. If somebody claims the right to ignore a law or government regulation due to religious beliefs, then the state is put in the position of having to prove that the law is in the state's interest and is the least restrictive means of doing so. Therefore the courts would actually be deciding on a case-by-case basis what it actually means. If you want to delve into what the RFRA actually does in Indiana that is different from the existing, completely non-controversial until now, federal RFRA, read more here.

Analysts are getting caught up in arguing about the differences between what the RFRAs do, but that's not what matters. I'll go out there and say that the actual wording of Indiana's RFRA is completely irrelevant. The Washington Post has a simple graph that explains why this is all churning out the way it is:

The Washington Post

As we can see from the graph, many of these RFRAs passed when gay marriage recognition was an unpopular concept, polling below 40 percent. Now that gay marriage is increasingly popular, this RFRA has become a signals contest in the culture war. Obviously nobody is obligated to engage in any form of discrimination in Indiana, and I would wager that 99.9 percent of Indiana's businesses will not turn away a single person for being gay. But it's all about positioning yourself within this moment we're having. Pence has to pretend the law doesn't protect bigotry against gays because that doesn't poll so well anymore, but can't seem to argue that protecting civil liberties often requires defending bigots or it's not really a civil liberty. The CEO of Apple has to write a big commentary about how discrimination is wrong and bad, and how you should also know that Apple, the company that he works for that sells many, many expensive things to customers, would never do such a thing. The band Wilco just tweeted they were canceling their show in Indianapolis.

Wilco's "signaling" here also stands in as a weird sort of collective punishment. What does anybody who is likely to attend a Wilco concert or any of the businesses with which they are likely to interface have to do with this law? Nothing.

Massive gaming convention Gen Con had initially made a big deal about possibly moving out of state in response to passage of the RFRA, to "deny" the state millions in revenue. But that's confusing the government of the state with the citizens of the state. It's businesses in Indianapolis who actually rake in money from the convention. Gen Con has backed off for now after actually talking to the businesses that they deal with, who of course have absolutely no interest in discriminating against any gay Gen Con attendees.

But they signaled loud and clear. It doesn't actually matter that the RFRA won't really lead to some sort of new dark ages against the gays because culture simply has no interest in going there. The important thing is that people position themselves properly to be seen as good people by their peers.

NEXT: Trevor Noah Gets Jon Stewart's Job, Police Thwart a Break-In at NSA HQ, RFRA Debate Rages: P.M. Links

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  1. Q. Why can’t we all just get along?

    A. What, and waste a good trumped-up political crisis?

    1. Why can’t we all get along?

      Stupid question. It takes two sides to get along, and there are those on the “Pro Gay” (supposedly) side who have no interest in tolerance, which is the essence of getting along. So even if the “Anti Gay” were willing to “get along” (and I have no reason to think they are) it wouldn’t happen.

      What we have here is two cultural factions, each trying to beat the other’s brains out with their moral superiority. To hell with all of ’em.

      In Mew Hope PA there is an annual Bay Pride day. Straights are welcome, and come in droves to celebrate their neighbors. The atmosphere is reminscent of River City Iowa, of MUSIC MAN fame, with maybe just a touch more showtunes.

      Why this can’t spread is not something I comletely understand, but it won’t until BOTH SIDES stop looking for provocation AND being deliberately provoking.

      1. I’ve been to a couple NYC pride parades, and aside from the fun, campy stuff there is a whole boatload of leftist politics that makes the whole thing a huge turnoff. I wish we they would quit that shit already.

        1. ‘I’ve been to a couple NYC pride parades, and aside from the fun, campy stuff there is a whole boatload of leftist politics that makes the whole thing a huge turnoff.’

          To be honest, for the gay left, the leftist politics is the point. The gay part is just the weapon at hand.

          The DemProgs use the global warming/climate change stuff in the same fashion. They used the Occupy movement in the same fashion. They use the war on women/rape culture hogwash in the same fashion. It’s Alinsky-ite tactics on parade.

      2. You are exactly right. The only time one side or the other is interest in offering tolerance is when that side is on the losing side of public opinion. Twenty years ago the Christian side had the upper hand in this argument and they wanted to go in for the kill while the gay rights side pleads for mercy and tolerance.. Today the gay rights side has the upper hand and they want to go in for the kill while the Christians plead for mercy and tolerance.

  2. [Indiana] doesn’t have sexual orientation on its protected list

    Wait, how long has *that* been the case?

    *** digs through desk drawer for old Turnpike receipts ***

  3. Now that gay marriage is increasingly popular, this RFRA has become a signals contest in the culture war

    Showing what happens once people get the idea that exercising your fundamental rights is subject to the popularity of your choice of how and when to exercise those rights.

    1. Amen

      1. ICWYDT

  4. Indiana is punishing the gays by forcing them to live in Indiana. But to be honest, that’s not really discrimination since it’s the way they punish all their residents.

    1. And they don’t really force anyone to stay, so you know, you’re only being punished until you chose to leave.

  5. I think Pep Boys is on the right track with their Genderflect campaign

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/a…..p-boys.php

    (sorry if this has already been posted)

    1. Very funny.

  6. BUT THE CAKES WE WERE GOING TO BAKE!!

  7. That Tim Cook thing is just a festival of stupid.

    He’s wrong that this is some rising tide of new legislation.

    And he undercuts the whole point of his argument when he claims that “America’s business community” long ago concluded it was just stupid to be bigoted.

    If I had any Apple stock, I’d be selling it on account of I don’t want to own stock in a company with a CEO who will put his name on this kind of drivel.

    1. Apple’s not entirely fucked without Jobs–they have insane momentum–but it’s going to go downhill.

    2. Would that be this Apple?

      1. Oooh, nice find.

    3. I’d also sell Apple stock because I don’t think that there is any way Cook can con the hipster crowd in the same way Jobs did.

      My guess is that the iWatch is the bridge too far for Apple. The hipster hive mind will realize that they’ve been paying way too much for their iSignal stuff and will turn on them.

      1. The funny thing is that Jobs actually didn’t con anyone. He basically said “This is what Apple products are like. Don’t like it? Go buy something else.” It’s almost as if his dismissive attitude to the Apple fans kind of made them want it more. Cook doesn’t have that. He’s a milquetoast douchebag who seems to be going out of his way to court the perceived Apple audience, which I actually think they dislike and look down on.

        I mean, I’m no Apple fan, but I have to respect what Jobs achieved. Cook is no Jobs.

        1. I think the hipsters liked the idea that if they bought Apple stuff they could be as dismissive and condescending of others as Jobs was. The don’t have a fucking clue of how computers work, but if they owned an Apple, they could shout the same BS that Jobs was saying to all those PC people.

          The I’m a Mac vs PC ads were exactly how they thought of themselves. They were cool (and it was OK to be a total beta male), while the PC users where stupid fuddy duddies.

          I agree that Cook doesn’t seem to have that sadistic streak in him.

          1. It’s almost as if Cook thought Steve Jobs was serious.

          2. The thing is, as condescending and obnoxious as those commercials were, they were perfect for the people Apple and Jobs were trying to reach. I don’t know if Jobs was sadistic, or just a brilliant salesman, but whatever it was, he nailed exactly the right way to sell to the vast majority of Apple fans.

            Cook isn’t that good at it, at all. Few people are or were.

            1. The ad I want to see. When they add Linux to the mix

              http://techdigest.tv/pcmaclinux.jpg

              1. God damn I forgot how unbearable Justin Long is in those commercials.

                Like I said, those ads were perfect for the kind of people who are proud Apple fans. The smuggery is both off the charts and staggeringly unwarranted. It’s just amazing.

                1. I remember the first mbpro I bought. I literally walked out of the apple store twice because I couldn’t stand the smuggery of the “geniuses”. I finally ended up buying online because then I could drink my shame away.

                  Exact same twisted feeling of liking the product, but hating myself for paying too much to be grouped in with a bunch of douches as when I bought my Vibram 5 finger shoes.

                  1. I actually thought at first, when they started the “genius” thing, that they were going to put some highly technical people in the store, and I thought, hey, that’s not a bad idea (if a bit expensive, but Apple can afford it). Then I encountered one and realized that these “geniuses” knew maybe 10% more than the average customer in the store, and none of it actually technical, but much more about how to use the OS. Then I laughed.

                    1. Yeah, this all day long. I sussed this out when my “genius” turned out to be a smug douchebag twat with a nose ring who knew less about tech issues in general than me.

                      I keep waiting for Apple to have its Emperor’s New Clothes moment. Thought it would be with the ipad (a useless, smaller version of a laptop.) Now hoping that the idiotic watch is it. And it probably won’t be.

                      But FFS – what use AT ALL is something with a 1″ screen?

        2. The other thing is Apple’s entire business model relies on the Apple universe being a lot better than anything else out there. When you buy Apple, you’re locking yourself in to Apple. The walled garden only works if the garden is only worth being in.

    4. All of Apple’s products suck ballz, and their OS too. Nothing but overpriced crap.

      But when you have a cult like following, that doesn’t matter (see: Obama)

      1. I like Mac Book Pros for web development. I like OSX too. I also agree that it is all way overpriced.

        I will say that every PC I’ve had slowly uses the ability to successfully go into/out of sleep mode by simply closing the lid. My old MBP from 9 years ago still does this every time without problems.

        1. I’ve been building my own PC since 1990. I can’t have a computer that I cannot constantly upgrade. I’m into gaming too, so…

          I’ve just never liked Apple OS. I had an iPad and I gave it to my wife after about a week and bought an ASUS tablet.

          1. I like OSX way better than Windows, but Windows is way better for software development – which is what I do, so… there’s that. Not to mention games. Thus I tend to have both OS’s on hand at any given time. One that I like using, and one where I can get more stuff done.

            1. Me too. So you’re a .NET guy?

              1. That’s my go-to platform, yes – but now that my company is huge I have to handle every technology under the sun that comes across my desk.

                “You know Java, right?” – “Uh, yeah. Sure.”

        2. I will say that every PC I’ve had slowly uses the ability to successfully go into/out of sleep mode by simply closing the lid.

          I despise sleep mode and make it a point to disable it the first chance I get. I freaked on my sys admins when they group policy’d me into keeping it. I still get pissed every time I go back to my desk after a meeting and have to twiddle my thumbs for a minute while it finishes going to sleep and again when I wait for it to get up. What a waste of time.

      2. I used to think Apple’s products were waaaay overpriced. But my wife likes them so I got her a Mac Book Air for Christmas one year. And I have to say, I was impressed. Now I think they are just sort of overpriced.

        IMO, Apple makes the best integrated devices out there, which they should, given that they design the hardware and the OS. But they work seamlessly with each other.

        I’ll still always go with Linux, but I don’t hate Apple products the way I used to. Apple users, on the other hand…

      3. OSX is far superior to Windows and Linux. If you have no clue what you are talking about, why speak?

        1. 1/10 nerd derp

        2. It sounds like you shouldn’t speak. I run all 3 and I wouldn’t have anything else but linux running my home server. I wouldn’t trade my MacBook Pro for any other laptop and I just need Windows for some things government related. Each is superior for certain things but to claim one is superior to everything else for everything just proves you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    5. Yeah. I knew when Jobs died the company would be taken over by idiots in suits with MBAs and the whole thing would go to shit. It is inevitable. I might hang onto some stock for just a little while longer and then dump it.

    6. Oh my god you made me laugh~~~if you had any Apple stock you would sell it! Boy you sure showed them by threatening to sell stock you don’t have! So, what really happened is he hurt your little bigoted feelings by not saying something that is anti-gay—and now you will exercise yur vast power as a non-stockholder to punish him!!!! Well I do have Apple stock and I am not selling it you fucking douche—this is neutral, or it is a positive, but non-holders of the stock sure as fuck don’t figure into the equation—for fucks sake!

    7. I have never bought an Apple product. But, I would expect that Cook’s “I’m gay and in your face” approach will cost him sales. If that happens, the stock holders will revolt. I continue to say it is stupid for corporations to get involved in politics and social causes. If Apple sales trail off, look for stockholders to go after Cook.

  8. Yay, more KULTUR WAR! And let’s just ponder how exponentially worse it’s going to be as we approach 2016.

    1. Can we please not, Epi? I’d like a few more months of ignorant bliss.

      1. Dude, I’m not the one causing it. Just observing.

        1. Clearly you’re not familiar with the QUANTUM KULTUR WAR theory.

        2. See what you caused below? A simple, off the cuff comment about how identity politics is going to be forced down our collective throats as billions of dollars are spent to determine one asshole over another asshole to run the country and everyone gets their knickers in a twist. 😉

    2. Does that suggest moral equivalence between the people who want to force businesses to make them cakes, and businesses who oppose such coercion?

      Bear in mind that, in the media definition, pot is also a culture war issue. So are guns.

      Are we going to make dismissive, moral-equivalence remarks about “oh, great, more debate over whether to legalize marijuana,” or “oh, great, more debate over whether you can be allowed to have 10 rounds instead of just seven in your guns?”

      1. Does that suggest moral equivalence between the people who want to force businesses to make them cakes, and businesses who oppose such coercion?

        Only in your head.

        1. “Yay, more KULTUR WAR! And let’s just ponder how exponentially worse it’s going to be as we approach 2016.”

          1. I eagerly await evidence that anyone other than a lefty troll or Bo (but I repeat myself) has said that freedom of association should be thrown under the bus because KULTUR WAR.

            1. I eagerly await evidence of where I imputed such ideas to anyone.

              Now, freedom of religion – there’s lots of examples of folks turning up their noses at it, putting it in the back of the bus, or even throwing it under the bus.

              But freedom of association – of course every true H&R person is for *that* – and they’d love to defend the Christian bakers as soon as they get in line behind Lester Maddox.

              1. So everybody’s out to get you, and we’re all racists too.

                1. Yes, indeed, this is a concise and accurate summary of my views, it’s too bad that I myself didn’t express itself in exactly those words, but not to worry, you’re there to paraphrase my views for me!

                  1. And this little discussion began with you doing what, exactly?

                    1. “And this little discussion began with you doing what, exactly?”

                      Whatever I was doing, I was doing it with…YO MOMMA!

                    2. I’m sorry to hear that. Grief counseling is available.

                    3. For playing bridge with your mom? Maybe not the most thrilling event, but grief counselling? Come on…

              2. I’ll fully admit that I don’t think there is some special “freedom of religion.” You are merely free to practice your religion due to having the same rights that everyone has. It shouldn’t matter if you don’t want to bake cake because “god says gays are bad” or “gays gross me out.”

                1. There are three ways to read your remarks:

                  (a) First Amendment rights (including religious rights) are simply a subset of a broader right to be free from government harassment

                  OR

                  (b) The First Amendment is so embarrassing that it shouldn’t be mentioned or invoked

                  OR

                  (c) both a and b.

                  Until I know for sure how you’re going to deal with the First Amendment – whether you want to enforce it while demanding parallel rights outside the religious context, or whether you’re going to denounce resort to the 1st Amendment altogether – then I’m not sure what to say to your remarks.

                  1. Neither Eddie, our rights don’t come from the constitution. But in any case, you have the right to think and believe what you want and act on those beliefs so long as you don’t aggress on others. But it doesn’t matter if any of that has to do with religion or not. If you solely fight for people to religious people to have those rights protected but not others then you don’t really believe in freedom of association. Bills like the RFRA doesn’t protect freedom of association, merely a small subset of it.

                    1. “If you solely fight for people to religious people to have those rights protected but not others”

                      Wow, who is this sinister “you” who cares only for religious rights?

                    2. Wow, who is this sinister “you” who cares only for religious rights?

                      Almost everyone who supports bills like this Eddie. I don’t see them fighting for the right to be a bigot in general, only for the right be a bigot because of your religion. I don’t see them fighting to overturn anti-discrimination laws based on race, gender, or religion.

                      Just because I think they have a right to not bake a cake doesn’t mean they are on my team.

                    3. I’m fully for Lester Maddox’s right to have an all-white restaurant at The Pickrick.

                      Of course, I’m not running for office.

                      Those who *are* running have to deal with the fact that fighting for Lester Maddox is a losing proposition – the racial-discrimination laws aren’t going to be repealed.

                      Look at poor Rand Paul – and if you forgot about his comments on the Civil Rights Act, never fear – once the campaign season gets into gear, we’ll be hearing about it ad nauseum.

                      So people who actually want to prevent the situation from getting even worse than it already is are focusing their attention on the attempt to *expand* the “public accomodations” laws beyond race and into mandatory wedding cakes for Patrick Fitzgerald and Gerald Fitzpatrick.

                    4. I really don’t know who’s on your “team,” but if you see a team being driven off the field by foul means, I presume you’d object, even if you’re a mere impartial observer.

            2. That does seem to be the gist here. Because this has been labelled a culture war issue, we should ignore the substantive challenge to freedom of association because the lines are drawn in cultural terms.

              1. “Because this has been labelled a culture war issue, we should ignore the substantive challenge to freedom of association because the lines are drawn in cultural terms.”

                If your paraphrase of my views were as accurate as it is eloquent, it would be perfect.

              2. That does seem to be the gist here. Because this has been labelled a culture war issue, we should ignore the substantive challenge to freedom of association because the lines are drawn in cultural terms.

                The point of the piece, and I assume Epi’s comment as well, is that the substance of the law is not what most people are arguing over. The culture war isn’t about principles, it’s about identity: us vs them.

                Insofar as RFRA advances or at least protects freedom of association, then we should (and as far as I can see, do) support it. That doesn’t mean we should get wrapped up in an internecine pissing contest.

                1. OK, sure, but that shouldn’t stop me from pointing out that…

                  The supporters of (a broadly-interpreted) RFRA are RIGHT and the opponents are either WRONG or MORONS.

                  1. Have at it.

                    1. This is boring. Quit staying on-topic.

    3. I BET YOU EAT CHIK-FIL-A

      1. Signaling!

    4. Kulturkrieg or Kulturkampf?

      1. Kulturkampf?

        You know who else…?

        1. Bismarck?

      2. Kulturschlacht

  9. The first tiny crack in the plenary power of the central government, and the return of conscience and morality to the individual. Freedom means nothing if it does not mean freedom to act in ways that some others deem nasty.

    1. As always, the Iron Laws are there for you:

      You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

  10. I would think that in Hoosierville, the gays don’t want cake so much as they want Orville Redenbacher to pop them a bucket of corn.

    1. You know he’s dead, right? Valparaiso still has the Popcorn Festival, though. And that’s totally Gay.

      1. I have a good friend who wrestled at Valpo and I have had so much fun making gay jokes about him and his Hoosier unitard.

        I was going to challenge you on Orville’s death, but then I realized I was thinking of the old coot in the cranberry commercials.

        So I have to admit that you got me. I am guilty of taking our nation’s popcorn reserves for granted and not keeping up on the fate of Mr. Redenbacher.

        1. He drowned in a Jacuzzi in California at the age of 88. Hats off to him for going in style.

          1. You just know that when some fabulously rich old fart drowns in a Jacuzzi in CA, he wasn’t by himself, either.

            1. Sheep or goat?

    2. SACRILEGE! BLASPHEMY!

      POP FUCKING WEAVER! You never been to Indiana, you damn anti-Hoosierite!

      1. You are right I’ve never been there. I do have to say that Hoosiers are weirdly proud of their roots.

        They are only slightly behind Texans and NYC-ites in thinking that they are from the best place on earth.

        1. There is a reason why they are called Hoosiers. I’m not going into it, but it’s annoying as hell. I spent many years there, none of which I greatly enjoyed.

          That being said. I had a friend that worked at Weaver, and he used to get me these huge fucking bags of great popcorn, I’m talking about 10 pounds of popped corn. Have you ever seen a 10 lb. bag of popped corn? It’s like the size of a big grain sack. I still remember my daughter, she was 5-6 years old, walking around the house with one of those, it was bigger than her.

          1. [ Insert Real Genius comment here]

            1. Professor Hathaway: What’s that smell?

              Chris Knight: [sniffs under armpit] Must be the dog, sir.

              Professor Hathaway: That’s popcorn.

              Chris Knight: Yes sir, I know…

              Professor Hathaway: Well, get it away from me! I hate popcorn! I can’t stand popcorn!

              Chris Knight: [Chris drops the bag of popcorn on the steps] Good. Now I know what to get you for your birthday.

          2. My Hoosier buddy is some sort of shirt tail relative here in Minnesoda of a guy who owns/operates a ton of those gum machines that you find in front of stores.

            When we had a startup in a rat hole of a building years ago, he would bring in 5 gallon buckets of gum he got from the relative. He got them because they were stale.

            For the most part the buckets pretty much got left alone. On one trip to the office with me, my youngest kid went nuts when my buddy told him to take as much as he wanted. The son literally had to hold up his cargo shorts (he was maybe 5 or so) with both hands because he had every pocket stuffed with gum.

            Buddy and I laughed, wife didn’t.

        2. We are from the best place on earth. (Though technically, I was born in the Socialist hellhole known as Wisconsin, lived all over the world, and then consciously decided Indiana was the place I was going to settle down in.)

          1. It was one of the happiest days of my life when I got the fuck out of that state. I have a really nice property there, but I will never live there again. My daughter is living there now. She’s wanting out, but she’s still in school. As soon as she finishes her degree and can find a a job and move out, I’m selling it.

            1. That’s how I feel about Virginia, California, and Florida. I’d rather suck green persimmons than live in any of those states again.

              1. I lived in Cali for 5 years. It was wonderful back then. Of course, that’s been decades ago and I was a kid.

                I can’t even count the times that there are stories here on Reason about Florida that makes me cringe at the thought of ever living there.

                Not sure about VA. I live close enough to there that I’ll likely never live closer ever again.

                I’ve been thinking TN, SC, or out of the country entirely.

                1. Why I love Indiana:
                  1) There’s a pack of kids riding down the street in front of my house this very minute helmetless on their bikes and no one’s panicking.
                  2) My house is zoned agricultural so I can build any damn thing I want back there…from a chicken coop to a barn to a castle with a moat and no one will say dick about it.
                  3) I have my political arguments with my Prog friends/acquaintances at the gun range.
                  4) No fucking flying cockroaches. (I’m looking at you Florida).

                2. Florida isn’t that bad, you just have to choose a rural area not populated by asshole foreigners. That means people from the northeast.

                  My brother lived just outside Gainsville. We went to a County board meeting once to find out why they were lining the roads with crushed limestone instead of real gravel. Every motherfucker on that board was wearing flip-flops and a grey ponytail. Hearing them talk was like listening to nails on a chalkboard. The entire meeting consisted of them trying to dream up new ways to fuck around in people’s personal lives. None of them had a clue how to do their actual jobs.

                  My brother told me that when he retired he was going to make their lives hell. Instead he moved to a more rural county. Everyone on the board there spat chewing tobacco and didn’t give half a shit what you did. Plus, we could shoot in his yard.

                  1. Rural areas mean MORE flying cockroaches. NO. Just no. If I didn’t absolutely require a place with a hard freeze to tame the insect menace to manageable proportions I would be living in Costa Rica.

          2. So as a transplant, do you have an burning hatred for the hillbillies from W.Va?

            I think it is really weird how all the Hoosiers I know hate those bastards. If you point out any flaw in their great state they always blame the hill billies who sneak into their state and fuck it all up.

            They are like a poor man’s version of the Jews.

            1. Not hatred…but those guys scare me. Family trees should branch.

            2. Umm, I can let you in on that secret. All of the Hoosiers hate those damn hillbillies from KY and WV because that is where their parents, grandparents or they themselves are from, and they don’t want you to know that. Seriously, I used to get them infuriated about that. I’d ask, so where are your parents from? Paintsville, KY? You don’t say?, doesn’t that make you one of those damn hillbillies you are always railing about? It was hysterical. Somehow, moving onto a tornado ravaged till plain that is a frozen tundra for much of the year, makes you superior to those hill folk. Interesting stuff.

              1. EXACTLY!

                My buddy was bragging on his old man playing college football and when I asked him where, he got a sheepish look on his face and admitted it was U of W. Virginia.

                I was telling him that under the “one drop” rule, he was a W. Va Mountaineer. I thought it was funny, but he didn’t.

            3. So as a transplant, do you have an burning hatred for the hillbillies from W.Va?

              I’d never heard this stated officially, but it’s hilarious!

              There is a branch of my family that moved out there. We didn’t disown them by any means, but when they ask why they can’t find some members of the family on Facebook, we change the subject rather than set them straight.

            4. I always thought it was Kentuckians, not West Virginians.

              Damn, I was hating the wrong people all the time I lived there. I wish someone would tell us these things.

        3. The difference betwen the NYer and the Texan is this.

          The Texan is in Texas claiming how good it is and the NYer is in Texas looking for a job while claiming how good NY is.

  11. “If you want to delve into what the RFRA actually does in Indiana that is different from the existing, completely non-controversial until now, federal RFRA, read more here.”

    TLDR summary: Not very different at all, except that 2 of 6 federal circuit courts have watered down RFRA in certain cases, meaning that the other 4 *didn’t* water it down (the remaining circuit courts haven’t opined yet on whether to water it down or not).

    1. So in the the two watered-down circuits the federal RFRA is weaker than RFRAs like Indiana’s.

      I don’t think that’s the placard-wielding screamers who howl about Indiana’s wickedness are into that kind of nuance.

  12. If Patrick Stewart owned an erotic bakery in Indiana and wanted to sell me a sexy cake which featured a woman going to the bathroom on it, would this new law make it impossible for me to buy the aforementioned cake?

    1. I don’t know about the law, but the existence of an erotic bakery that had escaped the zoning board’s disapproval is almost unicorn-like.

    2. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE TO ANYONE

  13. I once had a hair stylist in Indiana who was gay (yes, I know it’s shocking that a hair stylist would be gay) and he didn’t seem like, you know, he was being discriminated against or anything. He used to always tell me about how he dreamed of going to SanFran soon because that’s like, for a gay man, like a Jew going to visit Israel. And I was like, well, you know.. umm, never mind.

    I was just telling that to prove that there are, or were, gays in Indiana who have not yet been stoned to death. But maybe this law will change all of that.

    1. Why would anyone in Indiana need a hair stylist?

      1. People who are not from Indiana and don’t spend all day on a tractor.

        1. A likely story, tractor shill…

          1. I did have a John Deere tractor when I lived there. But I was mowing 6 acres, so…

            1. Same with me. If you try to do 6 acres with a push mower, you’ll be mowing all day every day and never have short grass.

              1. A push mower? That would kill even a regular riding mower. I can’t remember which model tractor I had, but I had a blade, bucket, and tiller for it. It was around 9k.

                My neighbors had one of those zero turn mowers and it was twice as fast as my tractor. Their son would mow for me when I was away and it would take like 2-3 hours to mow all of that and there were lots of trees and landscaping to mow around. It would take me twice that long on my tractor.

            2. And the prosecutions rests..

              1. The prosecutions is out of teh orders!

                1. You know when you have 6 acres, your neighbors never ever call the cops on you for what you’re doing in the back yard.

            3. :-). This is why I made such a good living selling tractors in Indiana.

  14. “Now that gay marriage is increasingly popular, this RFRA has become a signals contest in the culture war.”

    Wow, it’s almost as if these issues were…*connected* in some way!

    But we all know that SSM is *totally unrelated* to questions of business freedom!

    1. “..Now that gay marriage is increasingly popular..”

      Yes.. Ironic that the same right to freedom of association that legitimizes all marriage (gay or otherwise) can be so casually discarded at the slightest inconvenience…

      1. Ah, but to most SSM supporters, it’s not about freedom of association but about EQUALITY and DIGNITY and not being a HATER.

        Tell them that their principles are simply a subset of freedom of association and they’ll have one of three reactions: (a) utter incomprehension and confusion, (b) anger and indignation at you for daring to link their cause with the cause of the HATERS, or (c) both at once.

    2. The laws are still separate and not connected, no matter how many times you repeat that they are.

      1. Marge Simpson: Homer, maybe *I* should drive.

        Homer Simpson: What, I can see fine.

        [Homer drives into a cornfield, baseball field, then into a ditch]

        Homer Simpson: That had nothing to do with the bucket.

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0701095/quotes

      2. One right is recently popular amongst the sjw class, and therefore both right and just.. The other bigoted hate filled screed wrapped in legal mambo-jumbo is largely unpopular fodder for bitter clingers, religious zealots.. *christian* religious zealots.. and maybe 1 or 2 muslim extremists.. so, fuck them.. what were we talking about? Oh, right.. “freedom of association”
        ” *__[something]__* rights”.

  15. Some of the people who were saying, “Je suis Charlie” two/three months ago are some of the same people who now seem to think that gay people have a right not to be offended.

    I suppose much of that support for Charlie Hebdo came from stage-right, here in America–especially from those who are afraid of Muslims.

    I guess that’s an improvement of a sort. It used to be only the honest liberals and the libertarians understood that protecting an idiot’s right to behave like an idiot doesn’t necessarily mean society condones their idiotic behavior. Now that honest liberals have gone the way of the Dodo Bird, I guess us we should welcome anybody new that shows up at the door–even if they aren’t staying for long.

    What did they really think they were going to accomplish by trying to use the coercive power of government to compel people to violate their religious convictions? They must have known this would provoke a reaction.

    1. “those who are afraid of Muslims”

      You mean people who won’t publish pictures of Mohammed because they’re afraid of getting killed?

      1. No, I mean people who are afraid that Muslims are going to establish an American caliphate and make American women stop wearing yoga pants.

    2. “Now that honest liberals have gone the way of the Dodo Bird”

      In the sense that progs have damaged the brand so badly that the people who previously would have wrapped the term “liberal” around themselves as a badge of honor now go by the name “moderate” or “conservative.”

      1. Where’s the ACLU on this?

        Shouldn’t the ACLU be out front on protecting the First Amendment?

        Maybe they are and it’s just that no one pays attention to them anymore, but I haven’t heard a peep from them.

        1. “March 30, 2015

          “Today, Freedom Indiana and the ACLU of Indiana announced legislation to fix RFRA and protect LGBT Hoosiers from discrimination. This legislation?the “Fairness for All Hoosiers Act”?is exactly what Indiana needs to begin rebuilding our reputation and undo the harm that RFRA has inflicted on our state.

          This common-sense legislation would do two important things:

          Update Indiana’s state civil rights law to prohibit discrimination against LGBT Hoosiers in employment, housing and public accommodations
          Clarify that the recently enacted RFRA cannot be used to undermine local or statewide civil rights protections

          “Since last week, Indiana’s economy and our reputation have suffered greatly, and for every second RFRA remains on the books in its current discriminatory form, the backlash will only worsen.

          “Discrimination is not a Hoosier value. That’s why it’s time for lawmakers to address the devastating impacts of RFRA?and ensure that at long last, Indiana is open for business to everyone.”

          http://www.aclu-in.org/special…..x-for-rfra

          1. So, they sold the First Amendment short?

            Almost a whole afternoon after it happened, too!

            Why’d it take ’em so long?

          2. The ACLU in Indiana produced infographs that fear-mongered:
            1) police not protecting mosques and synagogues (like we have either here in Indiana)
            2) the roll back of background checks at childcare centers
            3) domestic violence perps would be able to claim they are above the law d/t religion

            The ACLU is fucked worse than their inability to see 2A as important.

            1. They say the Second Amendment only applies to groups–like militias–but they are against creating a registry.

              That argument about a “regulated militia” is so transparent, it’s hardly worth responding to.

              Meanwhile, selling the First Amendment down the river is telling. Kinda makes it look like they don’t think the First Amendment protects individuals either. In fact, this makes it look like they think the First Amendment protects groups from the religious beliefs of individuals.

              Like I said, the honest liberal went the way of the Dodo Bird. It isn’t that they started calling themselves Progressives; it’s that the left doesn’t really believe in individuals rights anymore. Not even First Amendment rights.

              The ACLU is a tree swaying in the wind–with very shallow roots.

              1. If they sell the 1st Amendment down the river, does that mean the next President and Congress can compel everyone to attend a Southern Baptist church? (yes, I recognize the absurdity)

                I think what the Progressives are saying is ‘I win’ (meaning the Left). That’s their only principle.

  16. The gay lobby is just like the gun lobby.

    ANY, and I mean ANY infringement on their “rights” (real or not) must be shot down quickly.

    1. They have the right to take their business elsewhere.. and the right to bake almost any cake of their choosing, Just like the gun lobby… Sooo, in that way.. they are very similar.

    2. Hey, me and PB share a premise!

      Our conclusions, however, are somewhat different.

  17. Again, this is a symptom of a very specific disease–the belief that our rights are an arbitrary invention of government that can be created, canceled, or revised by way of a popularity contest at any time.

    It ain’t so.

    The right to free exercise evolved over hundreds of years, particularly as a reaction to the Reformation. We have found as a society that respecting people’s free exercise rights simply works better from a public policy perspective, which is another way of saying that there are severe consequences if government violates people’s free exercise rights. For every violation of people’s rights, there is an opposite reaction. You cannot legally compel people to violate their religious convictions without consequence. I guess those consequences, predictable and consistent, are one of the reasons why we know that our natural rights are real–and that it’s the law that’s a fantasy.

    Gay rights activists are about to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, too. What happens when gay rights activists convince devout Christians–blacks and Hispanics disproportionately among them–that they can’t freely exercise their religious beliefs so long as the government is protecting the rights of gay people, as well?

    1. I don’t think most gays are into this shit. It’s just the proggies and SJW lesbians. IOW, the gay ones are exactly like the rest of them. It’s not a gay thing.

      1. Since when have activists acted in the best interest, actually and not just nominally, of the groups they claim to represent?

        It’s always been a matter of hewing out some special privilege for a few while yoking the many.

      2. Some people on the right-wing sites (like HotAir & TheBlaze) love to bring up quotes from lesbian activist Masha Gessen, about how gay marriage is only a cover-up for the LGBT faction’s real motive: to destroy the institution of marriage altogether. And they claim she speaks for all homosexual people. To me, that’s like claiming Louis Farrakhan speaks for all black people. But of course, the socons eat that shit up.

  18. I’m expecting bills to be introduced at the federal level and every state that has a RFRA, seeking to have them repealed root and branch.

    I mean,if the people mewling and puking about Indiana had any brains, or principles, that’s what they’d be doing.

  19. The band Wilco just tweeted they were canceling their show in Indianapolis.

    This is because Wilco doesn’t actually want homosexuals in their audience and Indiana has allowed them to cancel the show because some gay people might have bought tickets. Or perhaps Wilco is OK with homosexuals in their audience, just as long as they don’t live in Indiana.

    Or whatever. Apparently Jeff Tweedy wants to get his hate on.

    1. The band Wilco just tweeted they were canceling their show in Indianapolis.

      Not Wilco?!?!

      I mean, if they aren’t cancelling a concert when a mayor, governor, or congressman gets convicted for corruption or the Chicago PD are brutally beating civilians and torturing suspects then they’re out there protecting the questionable rights homosexuals who have nothing to do with Chicago.

      1. I’m pretty sure the only Hoosiers who like Wilco are gay— delicious irony.

      2. Hmm. Maybe if we ask real nicely, we can talk System of a Down into cancelling too.

    2. Yeah, wasn’t their 15 minutes up 20 years ago?

      1. It started?

  20. I LOVE GAYS SO MUCH THAT IM CANCELLING THE VACATION TO TERRE HAUTE I HAD PLANNED

    AND I TOTALLY WONT EVEN WATCH THE INDY 5000

    (*signaling hard*)

    1. Terre Haute, ahh, brings back such memories, the corn is beautiful in the summer, and that smell of hog shit just adds so much to the ambiance…

      1. And it’s almost Illinois.

        1. Have you even been to Iowa? It’s very strange. I’ve found some very surprising people and things while visiting there.

          1. Yes, Iowa is very strange. Never lived there, but driven through many times.

            1. You have to spend some time there. I have a good friend there and have visited many times. It surprised me a lot, not what I expected.

  21. My prog friends keep posting this crap from Politifact, which talks about how totally different the Illinois/Federal laws are from Indiana’s, even though they say the same thing, and based on other laws they couldn’t be used for discriminatory purposes. BUT IT’S THE PRINCIPLE, AND THE REASONS THAT ARE DIFFERENT, SO IT’S TOTALLY DIFFERENT, U GUYS!

    Why do progs always care so much more about the messenger than the message?

    1. For the same reason an individual health insurance mandate from the Heritage Foundation was a big “meh” and the one from Obamacare was pure evil (or vice versa, depending on who you ask).

      1. That has more to do with the fact that no one really cared about it or thought the Heritage idea would ever go anywhere. If anyone had ever tried to enact it, people would have objected to it. It is not like there were any states dying to follow Massachusetts’ lead.

        1. Even so, no one was labeling the HF as a den of commies. But, in broader terms, the point I’m going for is that all politics and politicians have special vocabularies – sometimes because the people listening project their own fears and biases, true, but often simply because the words and terms are used as a shorthand for a more complex concept – and it’s by no means a special feature of progressives to look at the messenger and their motivations (a quote about “not examining a folly” but seeing who benefits comes to mind).

          If both Obama and Rand Paul said: “I believe in family values”, who would think they were talking about the same thing?

          1. I think they would have labeled them that if they had been paying attention. The mandate is fucking awful and fuck the nerds at Heritage for ever thinking it up. The fact that it came out of Heritage doesn’t say anything about Conservatives. It says everything about the kind of crap weasel egg heads who work for Washington think tanks. They all think they are so fucking smart that they never notice how hideous many of their ideas actually are.

            1. But they weren’t paying attention and that’s the thing. It was an idea from an Official Team Red think tank and therefore really didn’t merit a close look.

              1. Sure. That is because no one pays much attention to anything think tanks say. No one ever proposed it seriously in Congress. So no one cared.

                1. That is because no one pays much attention to anything think tanks say

                  Everyone at The Reason Foundation is now crying. I hope you’re happy with yourself, young man.

          2. Susan, you’re really a troll. I’ve just realized. You always repeat the DNC talking points. That Obamacare is a Republican plan because of the Heritage Foundation connection is a standard-issue DNC talking point. I ridiculed my prog co-workers for even mentioning it.

            1. grizzly, like it or not, the recommendation for an individual mandate is there, regardless of whatever else OCare includes. It’s there, offered by a flagship Conservative Think Tank and no one on the right (well, almost no one), then or now, gets in a tizzy over it. Maybe no one liked it but it’s not the world-ender that it is coming from Team Blue.

              1. Was the Heritage Foundation the inventors of the individual mandate concept? O wait, that idea came from the Bismarck administration in the 1870s.

              2. It’s there, offered by a flagship Conservative Think Tank and no one on the right (well, almost no one), then or now, gets in a tizzy over it.

                Nobody even fucking noticed. The fact that you can’t comprehend the difference between a policy proposal by the Heritage Foundation and the fucking law of the land speaks to grizzly’s accusation being quite accurate.

                1. Nobody even fucking noticed. Which is the entire goddamned point I’m trying to make. It was an almost-total non-issue that rock-ribbed conservatives seriously floated the idea of making buying health insurance the law of the land.

                  Keep confirming my assertion that the messenger matters, though. 🙂

                  1. You do not refute the accusation of being a troll by trolling harder.

                  2. Nobody even fucking noticed. Which is the entire goddamned point I’m trying to make. It was an almost-total non-issue that rock-ribbed conservatives seriously floated the idea of making buying health insurance the law of the land.

                    You are equating two things that are not equal.

                    One is, “I didn’t notice my car was leaking oil.”

                    The other is, “I saw that my car was leaking oil, but I didn’t take it seriously.”

              3. Thing is that the HF individual mandate was meant to cover hospitals for the expense involved in EMTALA.
                What OCare did was tack it onto a host of regulations on what would be considered a “qualified” insurance plan. Where said regulations were designed to socialize medical costs.
                The HF mandate would have only necessitated some minimal catestrophic plan, not the ten essential benefits including substance abuse and pediatric dental.

          3. While both Heritage and Obamacare ultimately employed the use of an insurance mandate, it is worth noting that there’s a chasm of difference in the two. Obama’s insurance mandate is also coupled with substantial mandates on plan coverage requirements to the point where an insurance policy becomes absurdly expensive and ceases to be merely an insurance against catastrophic costs that insurance is supposed to be. Heritage’s insurance mandate was a high-deductible catastrophic plan coupled with tax-encouraged HSAs.

            Now obviously the very notion of a mandate to buy something is anathema to liberty and would be a violation of the constitution by any sane view, whether in Obamacare form or Heritage form, but its worth noting the significant differences between Obamacare and Heritage where mandates are concerned.

            1. Oh I know that. I think my rather less than kind opinion of Obama and his Care have been well established. I was making a point about apparent and assumed intentions and probably could have used a better example.

            2. the “chasm” as it were, is known as Hillarycare. The HF plan was solely a reaction from the right to Hillary’s attempted takeover of the health care system, which worked so well that the GOP was swept into a Congressional majority. It was so popular among Repubs that it was never put to a floor vote.

              1. And lest we forget that Obama castigated Clinton during the debates for supporting a mandate.

        2. Actually, I think it had more to do with the fact that it was being proposed during the Hillarycare debate. Yes, I guess Obamacare is “better” than a federal takeover of the health insurance market. But, that’s sort of like saying it’s better to be shot in the head than to die slowly in a fire.

    2. Look there’s only so many reasons to be outraged about something. You can’t always be so picky.

    3. Key language from the Politifact article:

      “In one sense, there isn’t all that much difference between the bill that got Obama’s vote in Illinois 17 years ago and the bill that Pence signed into law last week. But how people want the law applied, on top of other legislative changes, has changed the landscape dramatically, said Steve Sanders, Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor of family and constitutional law.

      “”What has completely changed are the *politics* around the issue, the *symbolism* of what voting for one of these laws means,” Sanders said.

      “In other words, it’s how some conservatives want Indiana’s law to work that fosters fear among civil rights advocates for how it might.”

      Or, in other words, signaling.

      1. Also from Politifact, about the difference between the pure, Democrat-supported federal law of 1993 and the impure Republican law of today:

        “The 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed by Clinton with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill passed the House unanimously and 97-3 in the Senate. The intent of the bill was to protect religious practices from government interference, such as whether a Muslim prison guard could wear a beard, or if a Jehovah’s Witness needed special coverage for medical procedures because he or she is against blood transfusions, or Native American religious practices.”

        You see, the bill those Congressional Democrats voted for, and President Clinton signed, was to protect the noble-savage Native Americans, or the irritating-but-tiny Jehovah’s Witness group, or the victims of Islamophobia.

        Whereas nowadays, when Republicans for for such bills, it’s because they’re trying to protect Christians, and not just Christians, but the icky kind of Christians who recite the Nicene Creed and don’t hold Wiccan menstruation ceremonies in the sanctuary.

        1. “Whereas nowadays, when Republicans for for such bills, it’s because they’re trying to protect Christians, and not just Christians, but the icky kind of Christians who recite the Nicene Creed and don’t hold Wiccan menstruation ceremonies in the sanctuary.”

          They’re just saving us for later.

      2. there isn’t all that much difference between the bill that got Obama’s vote in Illinois 17 years ago and the bill that Pence signed into law last week.

        Right. The words on the page are the same, with non-material differences.

        But how people want the law applied, on top of other legislative changes, has changed the landscape dramatically,

        What other legislative changes? It kinda matters, doesn’t it?

        it’s how some conservatives want Indiana’s law to work

        Which is a very tendentious way of saying “some conservatives now realize that laws that protect the observance of religion, although legislators may have had relatively small and obscure sects in mind, apply equally to Christians”.

        Its our old friend principals, not principles, again.

  22. Of course it is about signaling. I am not sure Wilco canceling their date is a punishment or a reward for passing the law. I am leaning towards reward.

    The whole thing is idiotic. If some business won’t serve the blessed and superior gay couples, don’t go there. Think about what the boycotts are saying here. They are not saying we won’t frequent any place that won’t serve gays. They are saying we won’t go to any state that doesn’t punish those who won’t. So it doesn’t matter if your business serves gays. If it is in a state that allows anyone to think differently, you will be punished just like if you hated gays yourself.

    I can’t see how throwing their lot in with these fascists is going to end very well for gays.

    1. They’re going for the gold – they want to confront and defeat all the “fundamentalists” who stand in their way.

      Compromise is not what they’re after. The want total victory.

      That includes victory over the evil Koch-funded libertarians with their babble about the freedom of association.

      And, doesn’t it seem like they’re gaining ground – with maybe a few speed bumps on the way to victory, like in Indiana. But overall, they’re rapidly approaching their objective of a new, government-enforced consensus in favor of same-sex relationships, up to and including the wedding cakes.

      1. They are so confident in victory they have moved on to transvestites. And after that they will move on to something else. Doesn’t matter who you are, eventually they will get around to kicking you out of society.

        1. Even the most open-minded libertine-ians will one day have to face the fact that this movement is anti-liberty.

          The instant they express doubt about the SJW crusade du jour, the most libertine of the libertine-arians will suddenly find themselves denounced as ferociously as any SoCon. It will then do no good to protest, “but…but, I support same-sex marriages! I made jokes about Santorum! I’m one of you!”

          They’re going to the guillotine on the same tumbler as the Santorums and the Eddies.

          1. The instant they express doubt about the SJW crusade du jour, the most libertine of the libertine-arians will suddenly find themselves denounced as ferociously as any SoCon.

            Oh shit, the proggies don’t like us! Man, call out the fucking herald, this one’s going to make the nightly news.

        2. FYI, transvestites and transgendereds are not the same thing. You can be a straight man and like dressing in women’s clothing. In fact, most of them are straight men as far as I know.

          1. +1 Edward D. Wood, Jr.

    2. Nothing about all of this makes any sense. I’ll say it again, this is not a gay thing. It’s an proggie/SJW thing.

      Most gays are probably going to seek out their gay friends for wedding plans. Gays are famous for being immaculate at this sort of thing. Why would gays intentionally seek out some old fundies to plan their wedding or bake their cake? They wouldn’t. This is all more bullshit from the progressive outrage engine. I bet that a large majority of gays don’t give a fuck about this bullshit.

      1. Of course they don’t. But that doesn’t matter. it only takes a few SJW assholes willing to sue. It doesn’t matter than 99% of gays are not that way. In fact, that makes it even worse because the SJWs are eventually going to garner one hellish backlash. And when that happens, the 99% of the gays who didn’t support this shit are going to suffer along with them thanks to the 1% who made gay mean the same thing as being a fascist.

      2. I would say you’re right. The only gays being affected are those poor Wilco fans.

      3. Well, it’s kind of the SJW appropriation method. They’re “speaking up” for people where the vast majority of those people don’t want that and never asked for it. They’re kind of “stealing” the victim status that they perceive those people to have and using it for themselves by being an “advocate”. It’s unsurprisingly amazingly exploitative, which if you think about it, makes total sense for the ultra-projecting SJWs.

    3. The whole thing is idiotic. If some business won’t serve the blessed and superior gay couples, don’t go there. Think about what the boycotts are saying here.

      This is especially true when you look at Eli Lilly and Cummins who have voiced opposition to the legislation while being based in IN.

      They made no motion to leave IN nor to be ‘more inclusive’ in their hiring (They already score 100’s according to the HRC). If you ignore signalling, the only other reason they would vocally oppose this piece legislation is because they are either afraid that some anti-gay dark horse will spring up in IN and steal all their business or they really just like telling the little guys around them (who would divert homosexuals to them anyway) who they can/can’t serve.

      1. They made no motion to leave IN

        Well, they can’t find employees who will work cheaper unless they leave the US.

        Also, they just had a governor before Pence who was one of the biggest cronies to the Pharm industry, of anyone, anywhere, ever.

        So why would they leave?

    4. It worked for Ernst R?hm.

  23. For all that I think Scott is right in some ways, the fact is the law permits private discrimination. And I’m not sure how Jim Crow, which was horrible, goes away in the absence of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Moreover, it seems likely that with such an open religious tolerance exemption, you would see a return of private segregation. Is it too hard to imagine a world in which Jews were no longer permitted in certain private country clubs? Because I think that’s where this leads us.

    1. Is it too hard to imagine a world in which Jews were no longer permitted in certain private country clubs? Because I think that’s where this leads us.

      Are you kidding me? Do you seriously think the only thing stopping Jews from being expelled from civil society in 2015 America is anti-discrimination legislation?

      Jesus, every time someone in America criticizes Israel, a sizeable portion of the American public declares them to be an anti-semite, but apparently Americans are just waiting for the opportunity to render America Judenrein.

      I’m glad I don’t live in your world since people seem horrible there.

    2. Let’s look at a jurisdiction which allows anti-gay discrimination. A jurisdiction like Indiana, for example.

      Why not go through the literature of the opponents of Indiana’s RFRA for examples of how private businesses are using their right to discriminate in order to freeze gays out of the economy.

      Go ahead and look for their case studies. I’ll wait.

    3. For all that I think Scott is right in some ways, the fact is the law permits private discrimination.

      Also known as “freedom”. Of association, speech, contract, however you want to label it. remember:

      You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

      And I’m not sure how Jim Crow, which was horrible, goes away in the absence of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

      Seeing as Jim Crow was state-mandated discrimination, raising it in the context of private discrimination is a bit of a non sequitur, no?

    4. “For all that I think Scott is right in some ways, the fact is the law permits private discrimination.”

      The law permitted private discrimination before. Guess what, there wasn’t any significant discrimination.

      Moreover, it seems likely that with such an open religious tolerance exemption, you would see a return of private segregation. Is it too hard to imagine a world in which Jews were no longer permitted in certain private country clubs? Because I think that’s where this leads us.

      Since there are laws that specifically prohibit discrimination based on race; that’s not an issue. Besides, the scenario you’re fearmongering would be MUCH more likely under Progressive control, than under right-wing rule.

  24. Ooh, Indiana’s legislative leaders say they’re going to introduce “clarifying” legislation…stay tuned…

    1. The national attention span is so short. 1 month, if that, and no one remembers that they were boycotting Indiana. And they still don’t go there.

      1. Of course the nation has a long attention span!

        Wait, who is this Kony guy?

        http://abcnews.go.com/Internat…..d=29908840

      2. Oh, it is especially short when it concerns idiotic moral signalling events.

        Does anyone even remember that guy with the shirt? No. The Twitter morons got to show how feminist they were and that was all they cared about. Once the denunciations are out of their mouths the issue is immediately forgotten. We’ve got memes to keep up with and people to denounce.

      3. In this case, it may last longer. This gives the media the chance to gloss over the fact that their new goddess admittedly committed multiple felonies.

    2. The national attention span is so short. 1 month, if that, and no one remembers that they were boycotting Indiana. And they still don’t go there.

  25. Re Tim Cook.

    Cook should focus on, you know selling FUCKING COMPUTERS.

    What is this shit giving strunzos a forum to talk out of their area of expertise?

    1. If Cook keeps this up he may have to transition Apple into a pie company.

      1. Mmmm…pie.

        You better bake me my pie, Mr. *Cook* or I’ll sue the living daylights out of you!

      2. He better not still my Pie Through idea.

    2. I’s like to see an Onion article parodying his name:

      “LGBT Organization Sues Tim Cook for Refusing to Bake Cake”

      Lawyers for a Florida-based LGBT group are suing Apple CEO Tim Cook for failing to bake a cake for their “Bears for Cares” fundraiser last month. The group said it was shocked when Cook declined their request to bake the group a cake for the fundraiser because he had so openly embraced the LGBT message on the pages of the Washington Post only weeks ago. “I thought he’d welcome the opportunity to bake our cake given what he said in the past, but I guess words are one thing but actions are another,” said Janet Bellisi, organizer of the event. The Onion reached out to the Apple CEO for a response and he explained “While I am supportive of the rights for gays to demand service from anyone at anytime, I politely explained that while my last name is Cook, I am not actually a cook. In fact, neither I nor my wife have cooked anything other than soup in the last 20 years. We’re fucking rich, we have butlers and maids and chefs and shit. Why the fuck would we waste our precious time cooking?”

      1. (APPLAUSE)

  26. This thing about people talking shit about things they’re not experts at.

    It got me thinking.

    Who else would you want to see talk about things they know nothing about?

    For example, Lena Dunham on The Crusades in The New York Times.

    The media is filled with people talking out of place passing off as experts. Like Al Gore and David Suzuki on climate change, Krugman on political history, and so on.

    1. Highly educated and wise members of the intellectual class know that if you have expertise in one area then you are an expert and can be regarded as such in any and all areas. C’mon Rufus, it is simple logic. Everybody knows this.

      1. It’s the greatest gig on a unicycle, eh?

      2. You cannot teach intelligence. You can teach knowledge, but not intellect.

        Yes, I will admit that most intelligent people I know have some higher degree of education. But it is not because of their education that they are intelligent, but because of their intelligence that they sought higher education.

        That being said, most people I know who I would consider intellectual and that I can talk to about any subject all day long, do not have graduate degrees, or overly bloated and undeserved egos.

        1. Hyperion|3.30.15 @ 8:53PM|#
          “You cannot teach intelligence. You can teach knowledge, but not intellect.”

          I’m not sure about this, but only by anecdote, so I can’t really offer evidence.
          I can only say a friend decided to get educated about thinking, asked me and others for reading material, read it and then got into some serious discussions about the material.
          In, oh, a year or maybe longer, he went from what I would qualify as a ‘casual’ thinker to someone who got quite direct and incisive in his thought processes. If, in discussion, you tossed out some hyperbole or other, you could expect a ‘narrowed gaze’, as the saying goes.
          Maybe it was there already, but it wasn’t evident prior to that conscious decision and effort.

    1. You’re evil.

      1. That’s just going to attract more clicks.

    2. That was painful HM. Why would you do that to us?

      1. Because he and Warty think it’s charming in some tortured way.

        1. Mind you, I’m keeping to the one IceJJFish link a thread part of the 2014 agreement. Outside arbitrators take notice.

          1. *checks iPhone*

            It’s 2015, son.

            1. I wasn’t aware there was a time limit.

              In that case….

      2. Because you always hurt the one’s you love most.

  27. The band Wilco- who the fuck are they, and why would I care?

    1. The reason you, I, and untold thousands of others now know they exist is their announcement that they wouldn’t perform in Indiana because homophobia.

    2. Who the fuck cares whether you care, just get off my fucking lawn!!!!

    3. They’re a hipster band.

    4. I dunno but I have always confused them with the Traveling Wilburys for some reason.

  28. I always find it hard to understand how so many people who claim to be Libertarian are totally in favor of big government aiding and abetting discrimination…..hmmm maybe they are just closet racists and homophobe and their Libertarian shit is just a cover?

    1. Can somebody help me here? I’ve lost my derp-to-English translation book and I can’t tell what this says.

      1. He’s lost without his pajamas.

    2. “I always find it hard to understand”

      No doubt.

    3. poguemahoney|3.30.15 @ 9:40PM|#
      “I always find it hard to understand how so many people who claim to be Libertarian are totally in favor of big government aiding and abetting discrimination”…

      Ya know, fake naivete’ was shit when Socrates tried it; stupid shits like him and you *ought* to be offered hemlock.
      And stupid shits like you ought to drink it like he did.

  29. Certainly it happens, and there really is no point in pretending that Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is not partly inspired by the desire of Christians in certain lines of work to not have to accommodate gay customers.

    “Sorry, but I will not serve you.”
    “Why not?”
    “Because I don’t want to.”

    You don’t need a stinkin’ law for that. I ain’t anybody’s fucking slave.

    1. BUT WHAT IF THERE’S ONLY ONE CAKE BAKER IN THE ENTIRE CITY/TOWN/COUNTY/STATE AND THE GAY COUPLE CAN’T GET A CAKE??? WHAT THEN?

      (paraphrased from a prog friend of mine arguing with me)

      1. Tell him to vote for Net Neutrality!

      2. I heard that same shit, only this retarded fuck used gas station.

      3. Tell him to start his own f***ing bakery and quit whining.

    2. I’ve been gay-refused by a NYC taxi before. I was mighty pissed and given that taxis are a quasi-public service here, I got to wondering if I was supposed to suck it up or fight back in some way.

      1. “I’ve been gay-refused by a NYC taxi before.”

        unless “gay” is a color i’m unfamiliar with – how exactly is a cabdriver supposed to determine your sexual orientation by looking at you?

        1. how exactly is a cabdriver supposed to determine your sexual orientation by looking at you?

          Well, I was with someone. I think the driver thought we were doing something that we weren’t doing.

  30. What if someone walked into a Muslim bakery and demanded a cake with a picture of Mohammed on it?

    1. Then you’ll never hear anything else about it. And if you do, it will be decided that unquestionably, the Muslims cannot be expected to bake the cake because it would offend them

      The proggie outrage machine stops right at the point where a head can be severed.

      1. Because they are cowards who will never take any real risks.
        They will loudly shout their outrage at the top of their lungs about universally approved subjects, and denounce universally hated villains. But they will NEVER take a position that is actually the slightest bit controversial with anyone they know. Much less something that actually involves physical danger.

        1. They are convinced that their only enemies are white males and that everyone else universally supports them in every way. Because this is the type of delusion you have to believe when it’s long since been proven that your entire ideology is a total failure. They are capable of amazing feats of mental gymnastics to the point where they have actually proclaimed Islamic jihadists to be some sort of champions of women’s rights. You cannot make this shit up. They’ve done jumped the proverbial shark.

    1. Any car stolen in Howard County of less value than a spanking new Mercedes SUV would definitely draw lots of attention.

    2. I can’t believe people who call themselves libertarians would not call out this blatant case of cisnormative labeling by the NSA = those weren’t “two Men dressed as Women” – they were two *transwomen* whose preferred pronouns should be checked. The privilege flying around in here I don’t even…. you must all be from Indiana.

      1. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is how we make them out to be right wing extremists.

  31. Mike Tyson’s abandoned mansion in Ohio:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..HURCH.html

  32. The stupidity of this fight is there are 19 states as well as the federal government have similar laws on the books. The Governor of CT makes a big deal about Indiana’s law when the one in his state is MORE restrictive. Businesses will not choose to discriminate is a weak economy so the fight is nothing more than rhetoric. Fight when there is a problem, not because you think there is a problem. The real issue is the LGBT community does not think people should have the right to have any view other than total acceptance of them. We have scores of laws which outlaw racism yet it remains a problem. You cannot legislate what people think. Businesses in Indiana who refuse to serve any paying customer will be short lived.

  33. Paranoia trafficking has become the fucking rage in this age. The Washington leviathan is no respecter of liberty and to use that violent machine as a source of protection beyond a rudimentary framework is to play blindly on the damn minefield of tyranny. I don’t give a shit about your religion or your sexual orientation. What the fuck about creeping dictatorship don’t you fucks understand?

    1. What the fuck about creeping dictatorship don’t you fucks understand?

      What you talking about, bagger?

      /the proggies

  34. I think Mr. Shackford is largely correct that the implications of Indiana’s RFRA law are mostly symbolic, but his analysis is shallow and tries too hard to trivialize the motives of folks who have an issue with RFRA. This is obviously not just about signaling to one’s peers that one is hip; this is about drawing boundaries around what is and is not acceptable. Indiana leaders are learning they can’t get away with homophobic dog whistling and that is a positive development that should be applauded by people who supposedly care about liberty.

    1. JoshK-

      You are not free unless you are free to be wrong.

      h/t RC Dean

    2. This is obviously not just about signaling to one’s peers that one is hip; this is about drawing boundaries around what is and is not acceptable.

      You cannot legislate society into behaving perfectly. Attempting to do so under the guise of drawing pleasant boundaries is to crush the very essence of liberty under the foot of bureaucratic sanitation. There is no broad mistreatment of homosexuals anywhere in this country and acting as if there is indicates a hyper-sensitivity that has no place in policy creation.

      1. Agile Cyborg: there is no broad mistreatment of Christians anywhere in this country and acting as if there is indicates a hyper-sensitivity that has no place in policy creation.

        1. there is no broad mistreatment of Christians anywhere in this country

          Is anyone saying this?

    3. should be applauded by people who supposedly care about liberty.

      I know, right? For a magazine called REASON….

      I am in Nashville, got a gut full o’ beer and several earfuls of music. God damn this is a great town! Of course, it was better when Virginia Postrel ran the Grand Ole Opry….

      And I’m DRINKING…

  35. Indiana is the place of my birth. I am afraid that I will have nightmares tonight about hordes of people in shitholes like Massachusetts getting gay married and boarding buses to go march on Kokomo and Ft Wayne and Muncie demanding cake! And if they don’t get it immediately (pastry takes time to mix and bake) setting upon and destroying the sites which Hoosiers hold sacred. This is my fear.

    1. “destroying the sites which Hoosiers hold sacred”

      Don’t worry = they’ll need those, just like you did.

    2. “This is my fear.”
      Well, I’m sure I speak for the multitudes when I say “we feel your pain!”
      Sorta….

    3. They all want cake.

  36. I’m about to start “Going Clear”.

    Should be very interesting.

    1. Good luck! Let us know who you meet in the closet….

      OH! You meant that book. Or show. Or something. Thought you meant you were going to ….GET CLEAR. Hah!

      Well, have fun anyway.

      1. HBO Doc premiered last night.

    2. I prefer going Everclear.

  37. So, you like to allow businesses to determine who they want to sell to or not (even thought its settled law that you’re not allowed to discriminate in that manner), but then when businesses (Apple or Eli Lily, or anyone else) suggest that they might take actions because they are displeased with a customer, that you have a problem with.

    Its just the free market speaking…what’s the problem? Don’t be so selective about how correct the market always is.

  38. My best friend’s mother-in-law makes $85 /hour on the internet . She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her pay was $16453 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    Visit this website ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  39. It would be nice if you at least noticed that the libertarian position on homosexual marriage would be against the vicious homosexual activists (and their supporters, as in the Washington florist case) who seek to use the law to force Christian (or, in theory, Muslim — but their careful never to target them lest the targets respond violently) small business owners to participate in rituals that violate their religious faith. It would also be nice if you pointed out more clearly that the “signaling” of the homofascists and their supporters is basically false. Does Tim Cook of Apple refuse to deal with violently anti-homosexual Muslim societies? Does he really think those societies are less hostile to homosexuals than Indiana is? Come to think of it, he’s liberal enough that he probably really does feel (not think) that.

  40. The more likely catalyst for this law is abortion (and a particular law passed a few years back that arguably requires businesses to pay for abortions (or what they consider equivalent to an abortion) for their employers). Yet all people can talk about with regard to this law is same sex marriage.

    Abortion is an interesting philosophical debate, covering things as broad as what it means to have a right to live, who should be granted such a right, what is the state’s role in protecting said right, etc.

    Same sex marriage is a semantics argument on what the word “marriage” means.

    Does it say something about our society that we get all worked up on silly semantics arguments and refuse to even ponder actual philosophical arguments that have a much greater impact on us (even if this law did allow florists to refuse to cater to same sex weddings, I doubt having a baby or an abortion is less impactful on most people’s lives than where they got their wedding flowers from).

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