Bigots Don’t Want Indiana RFRA Law Clarified

Bigots Don’t Want Indiana RFRA Law Clarified April 1, 2015

Faced with a massive backlash over the passage of their modified RFRA law (some of it based on serious hyperbole, as I’ve detailed before), Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana and some members of the legislature are considering amending it to specifically say that it would not allow discrimination by businesses against gay people. But the real anti-gay bigots don’t want that:

However, Micah Clark of the American Family Association’s Indiana chapter, who stood right behind Pence, along with several other Religious Right leaders, when he signed the bill into law and has quite a record of anti-gay activism, said today that he opposes any such clarification.

He told AFA President Tim Wildmon today that conservatives should call Pence and other state officials and demand that they oppose any effort to clarify that the law does not legalize discrimination: That could totally destroy this bill. (In Georgia, supporters of a similar bill also opposed a push to ensure that the legislation will not permit discrimination in business.)

Wildmon agreed, adding that the Indiana law is necessary to protect anti-gay business owners from “persecution.” The law’s critics, Wildmon claimed, are waging “spiritual warfare” against state officials.

I think that makes obvious what at least some people who supported the bill intended it to do (though as I’ve pointed out, that was already true in Indiana because they don’t have any protections against anti-gay discrimination). But if they do clarify the law in that way, that intent wouldn’t matter. If they add language to the bill that says it cannot be used to defend discrimination in hiring, housing or public accommodation for LGBT people, that would be legally decisive (though again, such discrimination is already completely legal in Indiana).

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