this Move On petition sort of lacks a legal basis since Indiana does not have a recall for elected officials, but I think it at least identifies the problem with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed in Indiana, in that yes, this is a bit of signifying for social conservatives. And I think it's the kind of thing a social conservative might push for specifically to look like he has a point if he were considering something bigger. My admiration for George Takei aside, I find that I side more with Melissa McEwan regarding not seeing this particular discrimination-sanctioning law as being a reason to discriminate against an entire state, including innocent people who never would support this kind of bill at all.
As an American, I just have a real problem writing off an entire state, you know? Thinking back to the various gay marriage bans, I never thought boycotting those states in particular would change hearts and minds--time and lawsuits and a gathering recognition that gay people are full citizens who should enjoy every right including the freedom to form a contract of marriage with another consenting adult would simply, over time, get acceptance of marriage equality over the finish line. Did I write California off over Prop. 8?
But I do think politicians need to be held accountable. Gov. Pence has insisted that this bill doesn't go any further than the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed under President Clinton. (Nota bene: introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, likely replacement for Sen. Harry Reid upon his retirement.) This is a law that in part was found to be unconstitutional, and was signed in the same era as DOMA and "Don't Ask Don't Tell". Bringing it up now, in the era when gay and lesbian soldiers who fought for the right to fight for their country have now served with honor, and when gay marriage bans are falling across the country, it seems like a slap of religious revisionism:
"Our religion says we don't have to accept you (or your damn humanity, money, rights or stupid face)."
My tradition (not the incense burning and crystal-gazing one--the other one) says that you should love your neighbor as yourself, and judge not lest you be judged. But I can foresee how this kind of "religious freedom" becomes a kind of "dibs", where, so long as one can loosely assert that one's religion prevents one from rendering service, it permits one to discriminate. A "Bad Samaritan" Act, if one will.
I've never really gotten how making a cake or taking photos is supposedly "assenting to" gay marriage when cakes and photos are incidental, not germane, to the actual marriage act, anyway. Is there that big a problem with the act of rendering a service one does for anyone else? As some evangelist once said of sinners' donations, "The money has been with the Devil long enough." (But can I tell you how many liberals would sneer at the right of, say, an artist to render services to a hated bigot? Is that uneven?)
It's ridiculous though, isn't it? A cashier at any store often has no idea if he or she is dealing with an usurer, an adulterer, a divorcee, an unperfected Christian, or the devil in one of his many disguises. What would the principled and discriminating act of a theologically-guided business look like--a questionnaire to determine the status of the customer before any service might take place?
And I can see how anyone viewing this act broadly as a license to discriminate is going to discriminate against a "certain population" (as it was determined in Georgia that a similar law was bound to do). I can envision people sensitive of "principle" (bigotry) but poor in gaydar might accidentally discriminate against people who are not heteronormatively performing--say, a straight man who has certain indications of diction, or a straight woman with certain indications of habiliment. And O! What fun would commence from the indignities suffered by the aggrieved and wrongly enhomoficated straight folks!
What I'm saying is, if conservatism means anything at all, laws that actually complicate commerce and give some people (LGBT) less choices don't really seem like such a good bet. They aren't protecting religion so much as letting some privileged few impose their religion on other people. I'm also looking at Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. I really did not expect people from my generation to be so inclined to let the religious license of some dictate to the personal freedom of others in so specific a fashion.