The Real Hate and Bigotry in Indiana
The decibel level of Leftist outrage over Indiana’s desire to prevent the persecution of Christians (and those of other religions) there is becoming ear-splitting. As usual, the hysterical cries of “Hate” and “Bigotry” appear to be projection. As Rush Limbaugh correctly noted recently, the Hoosier State has become the new Ferguson, Missouri, and the lies about the law are starting to exceed “hands up, don’t shoot” heights. So on fire has the Leftist hair become, that Governor Cuomo of New York has banned “non-essential” travel to that backward benighted state (which raises the questions of what travel to Indiana is ever essential, or why there is so much non-essential government travel going on in New York).
Democrat operative George Stephanopoulos fanned the flames with his interview of Pence on Sunday, but Pence didn't do himself any good with his answers. The response to the repeated, hectoring question of whether or not the law “allows merchants to refuse to serve gay customers” should have been a counter attack on the host, and to point out that the question he was asking had nothing to do with the law, and that if he was going to interview people about it, he should actually educate himself on the matter. Hacks like Stephanopoulos (and note, this was very similar to his continually bringing up the non sequitur of “contraception” in that Republican debate) should be given no quarter by smart politicians.
There are two separate issues here. One is what the new law actually does (and both sides are being disingenuous about that), and the other, more philosophical one, is what the law should be, under the First Amendment.
With regard to what it actually does, both sides are encouraging the notion (though the right is doing it with a wink) that it is a “license to discriminate” against gays and lesbians. Over at Vox (I know, I know, but stopped clocks and blind squirrels finding occasional acorns), there is actually a good interview with a pro-gay-marriage attorney who defends the law:
I think the main thing is this charge that it’s a license to discriminate. That’s the principal allegation, and it’s based on nothing in real experience. You've got Republican legislators fueling the fire by saying when the bill was under consideration that this would protect Christians against gay rights. They either don’t know what they’re talking about, don’t know what the bills have actually done, or they’re just pandering to the base and promising things they can’t deliver. There’s blame to go around here, but neither side is talking much about what these bills have actually done in practice.
…I think the lawyers for the gay rights movement know exactly what they’re doing. This works, right? They killed a bill in Arizona, and it worked so well that they’re doing it again. As the movement succeeds, as marriage equality nationwide seems within their reach, they also become more extreme in their demands, and more resistant to any kind of exemption for anybody. They just don’t want to take any chance, they don’t want to ever have to prove a compelling interest or worry that some red-state judge somewhere might decide differently from how every other judge everywhere in the country has decided.
I think it really is possible to protect liberty and justice for all here. I filed a brief in the marriage cases saying, “Protect marriage equality, and after you've done that, protect the religious liberty of churches and religious organizations and very small vendors in the wedding business.” We can do that. We can be fair to both sides. But neither side seems much interested in it. They want to crush the other side.
All the law does (as many have pointed out) is to allow those who feel that their religious liberty is being violated to get their day in court, albeit with a low chance of winning. To me, the question is: what kind of person would want to compel another to violate their conscience, at gunpoint from the state? Or to put it another, more explicit way, what kind of control freak would want to do that?
Which brings us to what the law should be (in my humble opinion).