Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Indiana's "Religious Freedom" Law

I've been busy with house renovations, and we've got no connectivity in the new place as of yet, so this travesty of justice has only been at the periphery of my consciousness.

Epps summarizes:
Of all the state “religious freedom” laws I have read, this new statute hints most strongly that it is there to be used as a means of excluding gays and same-sex couples from accessing employment, housing, and public accommodations on the same terms as other people. True, there is no actual language that says, All businesses wishing to discriminate in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation, please check this “religious objection” box. But, as Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”
One thing I'll say for Indiana...they're making the rest of us look pretty good by comparison...


Blogger tehr0x0r said...

Just getting to this now, but its the timing of this bill that made it most concerning. The Federal RFRA was passed back in the early 90s after the Supreme Court overruled what had been its long standing 1A test from Sherbert (strict scrutiny). Congress didn't like that, so they passed the law to go on top of the 1A to put 1A jurisprudence back where it had been for the previous 30 years. Then in the late 90s the Supreme Court said that although the law was applicable to the Federal Government it was outside the power of Congress to apply the law to the states. So a bunch of states passed laws to bring their tests back to the old standard. The problem is what the law said, what it said was a historically accepted standard, the problem is given the timing and statements from some of the crazies in IN, it seems probable that the law had the intent to permit discrimination, even if the text, and in fact the way the old Sherbert test would be applied wouldn't support discrimination from public establishments.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Thanks again for the legal knowledge, tehr0x...
I keep trying to put myself in the other guy's shoes here, and reflect on what it's like to genuine think that SSM is wrong...and be forced by law to participate in it anyway... But it's just difficult for me to work up a lot of sympathy...

8:19 AM  

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