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Conan Welcomes Indiana's 'Religious Freedom Czar' to Explain the State's New Law: VIDEO

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Conan O'Brien welcomed Indiana's 'Religious Freedom Czar' Don Biederman (Chris Parnell) to his show last night to defend the state's anti-gay "religious liberty" bill.

"This law prevents discrimination against good, church-going folks who just want their businesses homosexual free."

Biederman also knows how to identify such homosexuals because he's done his research.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Conan Welcomes Indiana's 'Religious Freedom Czar' to Explain the State's New Law: VIDEO" »


What's Really In Indiana's Anti-Gay 'Religious Liberty' Bill: A Legal Analysis

BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana has, along with a group of apologists on the right, gone to great lengths to assure the public that his state's right-to-discriminate law is no different than the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). That is an odd position to take for several reasons.

PenceFirst, it's not true. There are obvious textual differences. Still, we have to be honest about the fact that through judicial interpretation, the federal RFRA has bloated to the point where it is nearing the explicit and astounding breadth of Indiana's version. So, maybe it's not the differences that we should be worried about.

Second, the words don't match the actions. While averring that Indiana's RFRA just copies its federal cousin, Governor Pence is also asking his state's legislature to amend the law to clarify that it is indeed no different than the federal RFRA. That begs the question: if it's already the same, why does it need to be fixed to make it the same.

And, third, it really misses the point. We shouldn't be satisfied with a state RFRA that is in fact identical to the current interpretation of the federal RFRA because we shouldn't be satisfied with the current interpretation of the federal RFRA. That people started to notice the problem when Indiana made its bigotry explicit is, in a sense, a silver lining. But the wolf has been hiding in sheep's clothing for some time.

So what's really in Indiana's right-to-discriminate law? That's what this column is about. But we will also see that it isn't so much the textual differences as much as the timing and boldness of Indiana's bigotry. Make no mistake: this law is about us, and it is about allowing individuals to discriminate against us on the pretextual and undemocratic basis of their personal religious beliefs. The law is animated by animus toward gays, dolled up in the language of religious freedom. And that's what makes it so dangerous.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "What's Really In Indiana's Anti-Gay 'Religious Liberty' Bill: A Legal Analysis" »


Honey Maid on Indiana: 'We Believe Love Is Always Welcome'

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Honey Maid steps up again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

(via jmg)


Rachel Maddow Tackles Indiana's Anti-Gay Bill and Pence's Very Tough Week: VIDEO

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Rachel Maddow looks at the Terri Schiavo case ten years ago, segueing halfway through the segment to Mike Pence and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (aka the anti-gay "religious liberty" law).

Maddow notes all of the potential 2016 GOP candidates are lining up behind Pence — Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush. Even Reince Preibus.

"It is a clear as day reminder of how conservative politics works in this country — at a very different level from public opinion....In the Terri Schiavo case 10 years ago and the Indiana legalize discrimination case today the rest of the country may have a very distinct revulsion for what is going on, for what politicians are doing...but inside the conservative movement they are listening to different voices, they are hearing different people, and if enough of them are in power, they get their way, as the country watches, slack-jawed and shocked, and they don't care."

LobiancoMaddow is joined by Tom Lobianco of the Indianapolis Star tfor a very insightful interview about the new law and if the paper's editorial position of "FIX THIS NOW" is going to be met.

Lobianco says the main drama right now os between the staunch social conservatives and moderate Republicans about how to change the bill. "It sounds like there might be a preamble that talks about what the law is supposed to do," LoBianco says. But moderates want more specifics in the bill itself.

Lobianco says public reaction was completely unanticipated and the bill was a "consolation prize" to the social conservatives that lost last year.

Watch the great segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Tackles Indiana's Anti-Gay Bill and Pence's Very Tough Week: VIDEO" »


Indiana Pizza Shop Won't Cater to Gays, is Happy with 'Religious Liberty' Law: VIDEO

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Memories Pizza, a pizza shop owned by the O'Connor family in Walker, Indiana, says they're happy Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because it backs up their beliefs, and if they were asked to cater a gay wedding, they wouldn't.

PraySaid Crystal O'Connor to ABC57:

"If a gay couple was to come in and they wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no...We are a Christian establishment...We're not discriminating against anyone, that's just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything. We definitely agree with the bill. I do not think it's targeting gays. I don't think it's discrimination. It's supposed to help people that have a religious belief."

Crystal's father Kevin (below) backs her up:

"I agree with the bill. That's a lifestyle that you choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head because they choose that lifestyle?"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rush Limbaugh Defends Indiana's Anti-Gay Law Because You Might Marry Your Dolphin: LISTEN

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Good old Rush Limbaugh. Not content with claiming that same-sex marriage will lead to incest, he's now got a bee in his bonnet because you might want to marry your dolphin or something.

Addressing the backlash to Indiana's 'right to discriminate' law on the March 31st edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, he argues that the ban is "not about honoring...discrimination against homosexuality, it's about people whose religious beliefs prohibit them from engaging in activity which lends credence in support of gay marriage."

Nothing out of the ordinary so far. However, Limbaugh goes on to claim that a "UK woman who wanted to marry her dog...I think..and did...you remember that? She married a dolphin..ok, whatever. She wanted to marry an animal that was not a man..."

Listen via Media Matters to Limbaugh lose touch with all sense of reality, AFTER THE JUMP...

In recent days, NIKE, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, NASCAR, Gap and many other individuals and organizations have spoken out against Indiana's anti-gay law.

Continue reading "Rush Limbaugh Defends Indiana's Anti-Gay Law Because You Might Marry Your Dolphin: LISTEN" »


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