31 March 2015

Time to play hardball

It's been very encouraging to see the scale and force of the backlash against Indiana's new "we don't serve your kind" law (kudos to Mock Paper Scissors for the name).  Businesses and sports leagues are pulling out of the state or canceling plans, conventions are being moved, other jurisdictions are prohibiting official travel there.  Governor Mike Pence seems shocked at the response and floundered badly on a TV talk show (found via Progressive Eruptions), dodging questions and desperately trying to avoid confirming or denying that the law does what everyone knows it does and was intended to do -- protect discrimination against gays based on religious prejudice.  Last night Indiana's largest newspaper published a front-page editorial with the huge headline FIX THIS NOW.

Pence, indeed, has a long history of fighting against gay rights, and a look at some of the people he had around him during the signing ceremony makes the intent here pretty clear:

Those whom the law would protect seem to understand it perfectly well, and other officials have been letting the cat out of the bag.  If Pence is surprised at the backlash, chalk it up to the right wing's epistemic closure problem -- in their bubble world of alternate reality, they genuinely don't realize that the majority of the country doesn't share their prejudices.  The economic boycott is a particularly apt response in this case since it makes the miscreants feel shunned and rejected and despised -- exactly the treatment they themselves are trying to protect when aimed at others.

Pence and other officials are now making noises about a new bill to "clarify" the law, but it seems clear that any such amendment would be merely cosmetic, aimed at quenching the firestorm while still protecting discrimination.

I believe that the powerful wave of revulsion this law has triggered should not be wasted on such phony concessions.  This law is no ordinary act of Republican stupidity -- it's a concrete step toward the theocratic goal of legally and officially making those who offend the Christian taboo system into second-class citizens.  In response to such a declaration of all-out war, we must demand unconditional surrender.  Pence and the legislators who voted for this must be given no chance to save face.  They must be made an example of.  The pressure must continue until the original law is repealed, or modified in such a way as to completely negate it.  Nothing less will do.


Blogger Ahab said...

I'm delighted to see business interests and activists condemn the bill. If they can make their displeasure known in Indiana, maybe there's hope for the other states with similar laws. It's imperative that we challenge these discriminatory laws.

31 March, 2015 05:36  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

Agreed. Pence and company seem to have forgotten the fact that this type of nonsense--well, let's just call it outright bigotry--went the way of the dinosaurs (or at least it should have), especially after the hard work done by the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. More Americans are accepting of gay rights and gay marriage.

And another thing (or two): they have forgotten the fact that there is a separation of church and state. The US is not, nor has ever been, a "Christian nation"--hell, even I, a Catholic immigrant, had to know this in order to apply for naturalization. And the fact that they run to the Bible is also stupid--since they always go to the Old Testament. If they knew any better, they would know that Christ never condemned--or never spoke about--homosexuality. He did speak out against the bankers and those who would cast the first stone.

But what is going on in Indiana should also be a wake-up call to anyone calling themselves progressive...this is what happens when the modern GOP gets in charge. Expect more like this. Once again, VOTING IS IMPORTANT. Those who keep uttering the "not voting because both sides" should hang their heads in shame, since they are complicit in allowing people like Pence to come to power.

Sorry for the long rant--just had to get these things off my chest. :)

31 March, 2015 06:51  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Bravo! They didn't see this sort of bipartisan (the Republican mayor of Indianapolis is ignoring the law and slamming Pence for signing it) disgust with the fundies for passing a blatant anti-gay law.

Pence has a long history of homophobia, and it's not surprising that he saw nothing wrong with signing this POS legislation.

The only way these religious dead-enders will get it is when they feel it in their pocketbooks. I hope the pressure continues until they crumble in ignominious defeat.

31 March, 2015 14:30  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ahab: They realize that it's terrible for business. In Arkansas, too, the business community (including Wal-Mart which his headquartered there) is opposing a similar law.

Marc: All valid points. It's striking that the Christian Right is so obsessively fixated on a subject Jesus never mentioned (though, to be fair, homosexuality is extensively condemned elsewhere in the New Testament).

Shaw: Sounds like that mayor is one of the few remaining sane Republicans. As you mentioned on your blog, several Republican Presidential candidates have endorsed the law, including the "moderate" Bush. I guess he realized he can't win the nomination unless he starts throwing some red meat to the teabaggers.

31 March, 2015 18:02  

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