When Indiana’s legislature approved a bill that allows discrimination by both citizens and businesses on basis of religion, Gov. Mike Pence was quick to sign it into law. But just as quickly has the public loudly protested, too.
Progressive organizations provided information on the loosely-worded law, explaining how it only allows rights to be deprived instead of protected. National organizations, ranging from academic to athletic, have spoken against it.
This opposition isn’t coming from liberal progressives alone, however. Business associations, such as the state’s Chamber of Commerce, argued against the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” too. And to top it off, a much-established, very conservative Republican supporter and campaigner not only spoke against the new law, but pulled a money-making opportunity from the state due to its recent passage, too.
Bill Oesterle, the CEO of Angie’s List, publicly stated that he was negating a previously-approved plan to expand his company’s headquarters in Indianapolis.
Angie’s List is open to all and discriminates against none, and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents.
And Oesterle isn’t exactly a Democrat, and not exactly liberal or progressive, either. In fact, he managed the successful 2004 gubernatorial campaign of Mitch Daniels, the Republican who immediately preceded Pence.
Daniels isn’t any middle-of-the-road Republican, either. A former Big Pharma executive and Bush appointee, while governor from 2005 to 2013, Daniels decertified labor unions in Indiana, created school voucher programs, enacted new restrictions on abortion, and banned particular textbooks that he regarded as “liberal” from state universities.
So if the campaign manager of far-right Daniels isn’t supporting the current governor’s decision on this law, that can only mean one thing: this new “religious freedom” law is the off the cliff.
And even supporters of far-right Republicans are stopping short of a lemming-like leap off that cliff along with those Taliban-like supporters of the new law.
Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” was passed by the state legislature on March 23. Instead of protecting individuals from discrimination, however, it only allows them to practice such discrimination under veil of religious basis. Gov. Pence signed the bill into law on March 26.