NASCAR condemns Indiana’s RFRA

In most people’s minds, “NASCAR” means “redneck.” And if that’s true, then Indiana is WAY behind the times with its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law last week by Gov. Mike Pence, because even NASCAR is condemning the law.

Screen shot 2015-03-31 at 4.01.31 PMNASCAR, the second most-viewed sports franchise, next only to the NFL, today (Tuesday, March 31) issued a strongly worded statement against the law — which is “important for a sport almost synonymous with Indianapolis,” TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com noted (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, anyone?).

Brett Jewkes, senior vice president and chief communications officer for the racing organization, said, “NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sport and therefore will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events in the state of Indiana and anywhere else we race.

“For 105 years the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has engaged millions who want to celebrate the true spirit of American racing. IMS will continue to warmly welcome all who share our enthusiasm for motorsports — employees, participants and fans,” Jewkes said.

Pence — who has steadfastly maintained the law is intended to protect religious freedom and not to discriminate against anyone — today called for follow-up legislation to “clarify” the RFRA. I guess that means he wants a bill that specifically says it is alright for so-called “Christians” to discriminate against LGBTs (or anyone else who offends their religious sensibilities), but it’s not ok for anyone to use their religious beliefs to discriminate against Christians; I mean, after all, that IS what he the the Indiana lawmakers meant when they passed the RFRA, right?

Other businesses and governmental entities to come out against Indiana’s RFRA include Starbucks (which issued this statement Monday, March 30: “We join with others opposing any state or federal legislation that permits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and encourage policymakers everywhere to embrace equality”) and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (who on Monday signed an executive order forbidding state-funded travel to Indiana, saying his administration is “sending a message that discrimination won’t be tolerated”).

Check CNN Money for a list of other businesses, etc., who have spoken out against the bill, and what they said.

 

—  Tammye Nash

Angie’s List ‘delays’ plans for expansion in Indianapolis, Seattle mayor bans city employees from traveling to Indiana

Angie's

The fallout over Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” continues, with Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle announcing today (Saturday, March 28) that his company is canceling plans for a $40 million expansion in Indianapolis because of the law.

According to TheNewCivilRightsMovement.org, Angie’s List has been headquartered in Indianapolis since it was founded in 1995. The corporation, worth $315 million, had planned to move its headquarters across town, adding 1,000 new jobs over five years.

In a statement released Saturday, Oesterle said the company’s expansion is “on hold until we fully understand the implications [of the RFRA] on our employees, both current and future.” Oesterle also said that the company “is open to all and discriminates against none and we are hugely disappointed in what this bill represents.”

The statement said Angie’s List will “begin reviewing alternatives,” and the IndyStar reported that the company has “hinted that moving some parts of the company out of state is ‘on the table.’”

The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law Thursday, March 26, by Republican Gov. Mike Pence, prevents state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless a “compelling governmental interest” can be proved.

Although Pence and other supporters insist — at least publicly — that the new law is not intended to discriminate against anyone, most opponents believe it was passed specifically in response to recent court rulings in favor of marriage equality to allow people to refuse to serve LGBT people. Others have pointed out the law could also be used to discriminate against people for a broad range of reasons, including race and religion.

It is modeled after the 22-year-old federal RFRA that the U.S. Supreme Court cited last year in a ruling allowing Hobby Lobby and other “closely held” corporations with religious objections to opt out of an Affordable Care Act requirement that they cover certain contraceptives for women.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has barred Seattle city employees from using tax dollars to pay for business trips to Indiana, following in the steps of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Also among those joining the growing negative response are Apple, Inc., the White House, Broadway’s Audra McDonald, $4 billion software firm Salesforce, $50 million annual gaming convention GenCon, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Fortune 500 member Cummins, Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co., Yelp, Hillary Clinton, George Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus, James Van Der Beek, Sophia Bush, Dustin Lance Black, Mara Wilson, Jack Antonoff, the mayor of Indianapolis, and the state of Indiana’s own tourism board.

 

—  Tammye Nash

Indianapolis leaders take stand against same-sex marriage ban

HoosierINDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Greg Ballord signed a City-County Council resolution Friday, urging the Indiana General Assembly to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The mayor signed the resolution before the council passed it, which is expected to happen Monday night.

“I understand that many people hold differing views on the subject, but Indiana law already defines marriage, and I don’t see the overriding government interest in adding such an amendment to our state’s constitution,” Ballard said in a statement issued by his office, the Star reported.

The council resolution says the amendment could jeopardize local discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as domestic partner benefits for city and county employees.

It also suggests the amendment is unnecessary since Indiana courts, in 2005, upheld the current marriage law against a challenge by same-sex couples.

“This amendment would hurt our state’s well-deserved reputation for ‘Hoosier Hospitality’ and diminish our value as a business friendly location,” said a recent letter to the editor signed by the Republican and Democratic council sponsors.

If the Legislature approves the amendment, it will advance to a statewide referendum in November 2014.

 

—  Steve Ramos

Hundreds rally against Ind. marriage amendment

DEANNA MARTIN | Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Several hundred people gathered Monday at the Indiana Statehouse to rally against a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions.

The “Equality for All Hoosiers” rally Monday came two days before a Senate committee meeting that will take up the issue. The Republican-controlled House already has approved the proposal, and the Republican-led Senate also is expected to pass it.

But those at the rally said the amendment would write discrimination into Indiana’s constitution. They’re urging lawmakers to vote against the proposal and voters to pay attention to those votes during the next election cycle.

If the General Assembly approves the proposed amendment this year, it would have to pass again in 2013 or 2014 to be on the ballot in 2014.

—  John Wright

Flashback: Indianapolis NOM ‘Traditional Marriage’ Supporter Called for Gays to be Hanged

Adams

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is crowing about how victorious they were in the Indiana House today, as it voted to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.

They are reminding folks of the rally they had in Indianapolis in July with a video painting themselves as victims.

So, it seemed like a perfect time to remind people what their supporters looked like at that rally.

You'll remember that one of them carried signs calling for gays to be hanged.

The interview with Larry Adams, AFTER THE JUMP


Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

Indianapolis Mayor Wants To Know Why Just Cookies Won’t Serve Gay Cupcakes to College Kids

Hoping to score some rainbow cupcakes to celebrate next month's National Coming Out Day, the gays at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis were told by local bakery Just Cookies it couldn't complete the order because, as owner David Stockton told a reporter, "we're a family-run business, we have two young, impressionable daughters and we thought maybe it was best not to do that." (David's wife, meanwhile, says the bakery doesn't even make cupcakes.) Now the mayor and a local radio show are involved. Yikes!

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—  John Wright

Dumbest homophobic mess EVER: Indianapolis bakery offended by rainbow cupcakes

why. Why. WHy. WHY?????? Read and weep and laugh. (Change.org)

Looking for some cupcakes or cookies with rainbow frosting on them, to celebrate National Coming Out Day? Don’t head to Just Cookies in Indianapolis. The bakery, inside Indianapolis’ City Market, refused to accept an order from a gay student group at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Why?

According to the man who owns the bakery, rainbow cupcakes and cookies celebrating LGBT pride violate the values of the bakery.

“I explained we’re a family-run business, we have two young, impressionable daughters and we thought maybe it was best not to do that,” said co-owner David Stockton to a local Fox television station. He then added that it’s his bakery’s decision to decide what is obscene. Apparently rainbow colors fall under that label. “We have our values, and you know, some things … for instance, if someone wants a cookie with an obscenity, well, we’re not going to do that.”

So rainbow sprinkles, which have been around for eternity, are part of the devil’s design to spread homosexuality?

Mike Signorile and I were IMing when this blew by on Hootsuite (where I monitor Tweets and FB feeds). The possibilities for discrimination are endless for this bakery:

* he only makes white cupcakes

* chocolate cupcakes represent affirmative action

* red velvet cupcakes are Native American, if you add cream cheese frosting, does that make it Jewish?

* what about mixed bundt cakes – is that miscegenation?

You get the idea. The whole thing is mind-numbingly dumb. My brain cells are dying just contemplating someone this bigoted and stupid.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

How do you ‘cure’ gay marriage? One NOM supporter suggests by executing gays

Maggie Gallagher has taken her hate on the road with the National Organization for Marriage’s “One Man, One Woman” bus tour this summer. But so far, it doesn’t seem to be generating much interest — at least not from the anti-gay-marriage movement. LGBT rights advocates do seem to be turning out in force to protest the tour most everywhere it stops.

For example, Bil Browning over at The Bilerico Project reports that when NOM stopped in Indianapolis for a rally on Monday, July 26, there were only about 40 anti-gay-marriage folks there. And at least a quarter of those were tour staff members.

Those who showed up to protest the NOM’ers, on the other hand, numbered about 250, Browning said.

But here is the guy at the Indianapolis rally who’s getting the most attention: Larry Adams, who was holding a sign quoting verses in Leviticus saying that any man who has sex with another man should be put to death, and including a drawing of two nooses.

A young woman with the Courage Campaign interviews Adams on camera, posted below, and you can watch the video and see for yourself what he has to say. You’ll also notice that even though Adams is there in support of NOM, NOM really isn’t interested in having his support. At least not publicly.

At least three people interrupt the interview to try and either stop it altogether or to at least distance NOM from Adams and his message. One of the NOM guys tells Adams “we don’t want anything inflammatory” and “we’re here in love.” Adams assures him that he is on NOM’s side.

But at the same time, NOM is careful not to try and run off the Courage Campaign tour trackers. They obviously don’t want a repeat of what happened at the NOM tour stop in Maryland, where NOM official Brian Brown got police to remove a videographer from the Courage Campaign, threatening to have the cameraman arrested if he didn’t leave.

Of course, instead of Larry Adams and his signs advocating murder, the problem at the Maryland rally was the REALLY small crowd. Guess Brown didn’t want anybody documenting just how small the crowd was.

You can read about that incident and see video footage and photos here.

OK, now watch this video from NOM’s site, with what they call “truly shocking” footage of aggressive LGBT protestors “storming” their podium and bullying and intimidating a woman nursing her baby.

OK, I did see the one guy “storming” the podium. One guy. And I did see the nursing mother surrounded by her other children sitting at the back of the rally. But I never saw anybody messing with her. What was VERY obvious was the fact that the LGBT civil rights supporters FAR outweighed the NOM ralliers. Even in NOM’s own video.

—  admin