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HRC Warns 12 States ‘Don’t Repeat The Mistakes Of Indiana' In New Media Campaign

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The Human Rights Coalition launched a new ad campaign asking 12 state governors to reject bills that target LGBT people like the one Gov. Mike Pence passed in Indiana. HRC's new campaign comes after a study conducted by the organization yielded results stating that a majority of Hoosiers believe Pence’s bill is damaging Indiana’s economy. JoDee Winterhof, HRC's vice president for policy and political affairs, warned of the repercussions states could endure if they follow Pence’s example.

Said Winterhof:

"Gov. Mike Pence found that experimenting with anti-LGBT bills that allow businesses to discriminate killed his approval ratings and damaged the Hoosier economy. Governors who go down the same path as Mike Pence and put their state economy at risk in an attempt to further discrimination are going to find themselves at risk of being rejected by the voters."

The results of HRC's study reflects Winterhof's warning as a majority of voters (70% to 24%) believe that businesses should not discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or identity. Surprisingly a majority of Republican voters (58% to 36%) concur. Pence’s approval ratings have since plummeted, allowing for a potential Democratic challenger to make gains in the state. HRC's media campaign officially began today on social media in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Although Pence attempted to clarify that official language in the new law would prevent LGBT discrimination, HRC isn’t buying it, noting that the state’s laws are still devoid of any clear LGBT anti-discrimination laws that would grant full protections to LGBT people in the state.


Gay Rights Activist Buys Up Domain Names Of Indiana 'Religious Freedom' Legislators

Konrad Juengling

It's like the JebBushForPresident.com story only bigger. Konrad Juengling of Oregon took issue with Indiana state legislators passing their heinous anti-gay "religious freedom" bill, so he bought up the available domain names for Republican State Reps. Martin Carbaugh, Dale Devon, Douglas Gutwein, Kathy Kreag Richardson, Don Lehe and Donna Schaibley. The websites that exist there now, like for Donna Schaibley, redirect to a site hosted by the HRC about LGBT issues.

Juengling is willing to part with the domain names, and for free to boot. Rather than looking to make a buck, Juengling is trying to make a point, and the legislators can have their web domains... 

If you bring to the floor a nondiscrimination policy protecting LGBT people in Indiana, vote for it, and it is passed, I will happily donate the domains in question to you. I’m sure they’ll come in handy come stumping season.

As of yet Juengling has received no takers, and the Indiana state GOP caucus spokeswoman did not return Huffington Post's requests for comment, but will see if that changes when "stumping season" draws near.


Indiana Coach Fired for Twitter Threat to Burn Down 'Memories Pizza'

DooleyJess Dooley, an assistant softball coach, an assistant track coach and the head girls golf coach was fired by the Concord Community Schools board of trustees on Monday for a Tweet she posted suggesting that people burn down Memories Pizza during the battle over Indiana's 'religious liberty' bill in April, Goshen News reports:

Said Dooley in the tweet: "Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me? Agree with #FreedomofReligion bill? "That’s a lifestyle they CHOOSE" Ignorant"

As you recall, Memories Pizza became famous overnight after declaring they would not cater a gay couple's wedding, and after receiving national attention became the subject of a GoFundMe campaign which raised $850,000 for them.


Angie's List CEO Resigns, Announces Plans to Re-Enter Politics to Fix Indiana's 'Badly Damaged' Reputation

Angie's list

Angie's List CEO Bill Oesterle has announced he is stepping down as CEO and will re-enter politics in an effort to help fix Indiana's "badly damaged" reputation following the firestorm over the state's "religious freedom" law.

OesterleOesterle, a Republican and former supporter of Gov. Mike Pence, was one of the first major Indiana-based business leaders to join the corporate backlash against the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He was also one of the first (and remains one of the few) business leaders to reject the so-called "fix" to the state's law, calling it "insufficient" to prevent discrimination against LGBT individuals. 

The Indianapolis Star reports:

Indiana's public image "took a shellacking" after passage of RFRA spurred widespread criticism from gay rights groups, much of the business community and others, Oesterle said. "Indiana was under significant duress and went through a heartbreaking situation."

Oesterle's announcement amounts to "an announcement of trying to unseat a governor," said Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics. "If you think about the individual positions that could have made a difference about this (RFRA), that's only one, that's the governor."

"That is somebody who is saying either he is running for governor or is looking for somebody to run for governor," Downs said of Oesterle.

Oesterle, a West Lafayette native and former trustee at Purdue University, said he hasn't decided whether he wants to run as a candidate or support someone else. In 2004, Oesterle took a leave from Angie's to manage [two-term Gov. Mitch] Daniels' first campaign, which raised a record $18 million for an Indiana gubernatorial race and unseated a sitting governor, Democrat Joe Kernan.

Gov. Pence is up for reelection in 2016.

Read the Angie's List press release announcing Oesterle's departure, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Angie's List CEO Resigns, Announces Plans to Re-Enter Politics to Fix Indiana's 'Badly Damaged' Reputation" »


Indiana House GOP Rejects LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill; Pence Claims 'Difficult Time' for State is Over

A bill that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to Indiana's civil rights law in education, employment, and housing was rejected by House Republicans yesterday, the AP reports.

M_penceIn related news, Governor Mike Pence declared the Religious Freedom Restoration Act controversy to be over, the Indy Star reports:

"I think the difficult time that Indiana just passed through two weeks ago is behind us," Pence told reporters.

His comments came just one day after his administration hired a global public relations company to help repair the state's damaged reputation. The state plans to pay the firm, Porter Novelli, at least $2 million.

"We've got a great story to tell," Pence said when asked about his decision to hire the PR firm. "I really do believe that we are through the storm, that now's the time to heal."

However, Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson has proposed an amendment to the state budget that was also shot down 40-10 by Republicans. The amendment "would have created a committee to study the possibility of adding statewide protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity" according to the Indy Star.


House Democrats Introduce Resolution Against LGBT Discrimination

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A group of four House Democrats have introduced a resolution "expressing the sense of Congress that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people should be protected from discrimination under the law," Indiana's WIBC reports.

“When intolerance occurs anywhere everyone has an obligation to take a stand and Congress doesn’t get a waiver on that,” House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chair Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) said during a press call Monday, according to The Hill

Israel is joined by Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), André Carson (D-IN) and David Cicilline (D-RI). Cicilline is currently drafting a comprehensive civil rights bill that he says will "cut through a patchwork of 50 state laws to make sure all LGBT Americans can enjoy their basic rights no matter where they live, work or go to school.” 

CarsonAdded Rep. Carson (right) in a statement:

"Year after year, we see attacks on the LGBT community as governments at all levels look to institutionalize discrimination in the name of religious freedom.  Recently, we witnessed my home state of Indiana enact the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, giving businesses the right to refuse service based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“In the wake of the backlash of Indiana’s misguided law, it is clear that the vast majority of Americans oppose this type of discrimination.  It is long past time for Congress to ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, know that they are valued members of our society."


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