Breaking: Arkansas's Republican governor won't sign license-to-discriminate bill in its current form
Admitting that the state "religious freedom" bill goes further than he'd like and admitting that even his own son signed a petition asking him to veto it, Republican governor Asa Hutchinson announced at a morning press conference that he will not sign the Indiana-like bill unless and until the legislature makes changes to it.
A partial win, it seems, particularly since this is sure to make the far-right APOPLECTIC. So hooray for now. More to come.
**UPDATE: The governor also says he is considering an executive order clarifying that the proposed law is not about discrimination.
**UPDATE2: An important caveat: A simple majority of the GOP-controlled legislature could override the governor. This could set up a huge intra-party fight. And if the legislature rams the current version through after the governor has put its ills on blast like this, the state is going to look TERRIBLE.
AFA goes after Megyn Kelly for suggesting Indiana protect gays and lesbians from discrimination
From Walker Wildmon, the son of American Family Association president Tim Wildmon (and grandson of founder Don Wildmon):
With all due respect Megyn Kelly, you are wrong. Homosexuals do not need to be a protected class along with blacks. In fact, you do African Americans and civil rights leaders an injustice by comparing homosexuals to blacks that weren’t allowed to vote and were deprived of certain God given rights prior and during the civil rights era.
By classifying homosexuals as a “protected class” you are condoning the behavior that the World Health Organization concluded “men who have sex with men are 19 times more likely to have HIV than the general population”. So Megyn, with all due respect, do you still think homosexuals should be a protected class? I would hope not.
State laws written to protect Religious Liberty are not geared to deprive homosexuals of what they assume is a “right” but rather geared to protect the citizens from having to capitulate to acts and services that go against their religious beliefs. So to the ones who will read this article and assume me a hater, let me say this… I do not hate anyone. In fact, I am showing genuine compassion by reaching out to expose the facts of this lifestyle. May God bring repentance to all who do not know Jesus as their Savior and redeemer. After all “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God bless.
FULL: American Family Association
Gee, it's almost as if these forces are happy admitting they want to discriminate against us. But gee, that can't be so, can it? Governor Pence already denied that was the case
Hillary Clinton comes out against Arkansas license-to-disriminate bill!!
From the former first lady of Arkansas (among other things):
The Republican governor will announce her plans soon. Hillary will too.
#RFRA and a movement that shirks responsibility (almost) as much as it shirks equality
The Indiana "religious freedom" (i.e. license-to-discriminate) fight has revealed a few key things. One, it shows how much this tide has turned and where America and its power sources are coming down on LGBT discrimination. Two, it has reinforced how powerful a people can be when we come together and refuse to accept injustice as status quo. Three, it's yet again proven the efficacy of social media in effecting change. And four, it has reminded us that there will be a fight beyond marriage, and we must still fight it.
But aside from those more important points, the Indiana fiasco yet again shows just how unwilling the anti-LGBT movement is to own its nonsense.
For the past couple of years, every single anti-LGBT group on both the state and national level has been talking about so-called "religious freedom" bills and their supposedly needed passage. That's what this whole campaign about bakers and florists and T-shirt makers has been about. With the writing on the wall for marriage equality and its inevitable expansion, the opposition knew it needed a new cause. Passing "religious freedom" bills was the cause they chose, and the hope is that doing so will carve out protections that allow people who think like they do to abstain from servicing same-sex couples in just about any public arena where our marriages come into play. And frankly, the anti-LGBT movement wasn't really trying to hide any of this. At least I didn't think they were.
Yet now, with these #RFRA laws in the news and under the microscope in a way that none of us could have anticipated, you'd think those of us who note the obvious about these bills/laws and their motivations were engaging in a form of blood libel. "Outrage!" they cry when we simply note that same-sex marriage was the main motivator. "How dare you?" they ask when we wonder why they think they should be able to discriminate against same-sex couples in public accommodation. "I abhor discrimination" demanded the governor of Indiana, who has never given us any reason to believe that he even disfavors, much less abhors, discrimination toward LGBT people. It's as if they think we all started paying attention three days ago.
The fact is that some of us have been paying attention, and for years. We didn't need any sort of outside guidance to tell us what the Indiana or Arkansas "religious freedom" bills were about because we know what the whole national campaign is about. We knew what it was about back when former governor Jan Brewer rightly vetoed Arizona's version. We knew what it was about when Tony Perkins, one of the most anti-LGBT men in American politics, stood behind Mississippi's Republican governor when he signed his state's version. And yes, we knew what it was about when Gov. Mike Pence signed Indiana's particularly strident version before an audience of anti-LGBT activists. And we know not because we've been digging or poking around in any sort of determined way. No, no—we know because the anti-LGBT movement has been talking about little else in recent years!
For them to now play the innocent victims of misinformation and misrepresentation is not only offensive (which it is) and duplicitous (which we're used to from them), but it's also just plain absurd. Imagine if our side went around talking about Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal for years and years, and then when some sort of controversy brought our concerted, all-hands-on-deck, indefatigable efforts to light, we were like, "Nah, we never asked for that; we'd look terrible in camouflage." Or if we pushed for federal LGBT employment protections, but then when that fight came into the spotlight, we pretended that our efforts were simply meant to protect the rights of straight stay-at-home parents who not have to take jobs outside the home. Or what if, after we win fifty-state marriage equality at SCOTUS, we cite our fetish for tan lines on ring fingers as the true motivator, even though we never mentioned it in any of the run-up. This whole pretense about this "religious campaign," conducted and promoted and supported by anti-LGBT groups and leaders, being about something other than anti-LGBT animus feels similar to any of those seemingly far-fetched situations.
What, are we supposed to think it's just coincidence that Tony Perkins, Peter Sprigg, Brian Brown, Ryan Anderson, and state leaders with various "family policy" councils are the ones on TV and in print defending these law? Are they really expecting us to believe that this is happening now, in states with newfound marriage equality, simply because these states were under some other unexplained and unknown faith crush that they don't feel they have to tell us about? Do they think we're just going accept their motivations in good faith when they have shown nothing but bad faith against us and our lives and our loves and our families and our rights? Are they wanting us to un-know everything that we do, in fact, know about these bills and what they've been saying about them in order to build a case?
I mean, the answer to all of those questions is surely yes, because that's how this entitled movement operates, particularly when it comes to us, the crowd that most triggers their feelings of supremacy. But our answer is a big, fat, resounding "NO, we are not playing by your rules!" In fact, I would argue that this week has changed the game forever.
Audio: Limbaugh admits #RFRA fight is about same-sex marriage; links homosexuality to bestiality
Keep talking, conservatives. I seriously though I'd have to pay you all to be so unwittingly helpful to our side:
Sen Schumer, federal #RFRA coauthor, knocks down lie that Indiana's version is the same
This was needed:
Sen. Schumer [Facebook]
Video: I can't fathom invoking concentration camps in my political discourse. But Glenn Beck on the other hand...
It's all fun and games until gay people and our allies start sending others to concentration camps. Or something:
If you're going to a Passover seder this weekend, look for the oldest relative at the table and ask them how they feel about such a negligent comparison.
Get a load of this double-talk from the Family Research Council #RFRA #Indiana
I'm not sure what, exactly, Tony Perkins and his friends at the Family Research Council think cakes and flowers and photography packages are. But apparently they don't believe them to be "non-religious goods or services" since they claim that RFRAs are not intended or even capable of denying such services, in one breath, while making the case that business owners *should* be able to deny such services in every other breath.
Check out this spin:
“The governor addressed the complete falsehood that RFRA is about denying people a seat in a restaurant or a room at a hotel. Christians would never deny people these services but being forced to participate in a ceremony that violates religious beliefs is completely un-American and uncivil. We must ensure that religious business owners are not forced by the government to participate in a same-sex ceremony. What RFRA is intended to do is to protect people from government discrimination. However, until we see the wording of his proposal, the impact on religious businesses and churches is unknown.
“RFRAs are not intended to nor have they ever been used to deny anyone non-religious goods or services. We support such a clarification making clear RFRA does not impact non-religious goods or services.
“The government shouldn’t force religious businesses and churches to participate in wedding ceremonies contrary to their owners’ beliefs. If the government punishes people for living their faith, there are no limits to what government can control. We want to be sure that the measure proposed by the governor isn’t used as a weapon to impose punishing fines on people like florist Barronelle Stutzman, bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, and wedding photographer Elaine Huguenin.
“Indiana has been the target of misinformation, and bullying in both the media and online, simply for joining 19 other states in aligning themselves with federal religious freedom law. What is unfolding in Indiana reveals the source of true intolerance: those who want the government to punish people for freely living according to their beliefs,” concluded Perkins.
Of course the operative phrase is "participate in a ceremony." Groups like FRC are insistent that products like cakes and flowers constitute "participation" and therefore have some sort of special status that makes them fit for denial. Which is hogwash. Obviously. But in anti-LGBT far-right world, where entitlement and deception run neck and neck for most overused concepts, they actually think they can say this stuff and have us just go blindly along with their fantasies.
This week, they've learned they cannot and we will not. And this is just a taste of the future.