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General News    H2'ed 3/27/15

Indiana now a 'right to discriminate' state--and what that means

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Reprinted from dailykos.com by Kerry Eleveld


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Indiana has the distinction of becoming the first state this year to enact a "right to discriminate" law, otherwise known as a religious "freedom" law, after Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed the legislation in a private ceremony Thursday.

It's only fitting that a chosen few people got to witness the signing because that's exactly who the law will benefit--a chosen few. Anyone who is a minority of any kind (e.g. religious, person of color, etc.) or marginalized in any way (e.g. poor, female, etc.) could be negatively impacted by this law, which seeks to elevate the rights of "religious" folks above all others.

As we noted before, this law will allow private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate anywhere at any time against any person they so choose based on religious grounds, so long as that discrimination is not prohibited by federal law. To be clear, state law cannot supersede protections provided by federal law, but any discrimination that remains uncovered (which certainly includes, but is not limited to, sexual orientation and gender identity) will be legal in Indiana.

Gov. Pence denied that the bill promoted discrimination.

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"This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it," he said.
Yet, here's how one Republican Indiana lawmaker imagined it working during debate of the bill:
Rep. Bruce Borders, R-Jasonville, spoke about an anesthesiologist who didn't want to anesthetize a woman in preparation for an abortion. Borders said he believes the Bible's command to "do all things as unto the Lord" means religious believers need to be protected not just in church, but in their workplaces as well.
For more on the effects of this law, head below the fold.

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