The poor old Indy Star, sad remains of a great paper that it is,* may be in the lead for news on Indiana's RFRA. According to their sources, the GOP fix establishes protection for LGBT Hoosiers and visitors in places of public accommodation, housing and employment. The exception for churches is left in place, paralleling established law for other defined minorities (yes, your church can already discriminate on ways that'd get any other entity in hot water and it worked that way long before there was any kind of RFRA on any books anywhere).
Love it or loathe it, this was about the only way the state government could leave the law in place and not suffer increasingly dire consequences.
Blame the media all you like -- they certainly spotted the loopholes and the interesting private audience for the signing and made much of both -- all the Legislature had to do was nothing and they could have avoided the entire mess. The media would be talking about what a nice place Indy was to hold the Final Four when they mentioned the state at all. Didn't happen. The state "didn't know it was loaded," despite strong lobbying from Micah Clark (American Family Association of Indiana), Eric Miller (Advance America) and Curt Smith (Indiana Family Institute), all well-established anti-same-sex marriage/anti-LGBT rights advocates and all present at the signing of the bill. All that was missing was a big neon sign reading "START MEDIA FUROR HERE." It should have been easy to predict, and yet-- Somehow nobody in the Statehouse saw it coming.
Right or wrong, agree or disagree, once you've dropped that bomb and seen the big mushroom cloud go up, it's too late for anything but drastic measures. It looks like that's what we'll get -- and the local SoCons have no one to blame but themselves.
ETA: Local TV is saying perhaps the medicine will be watered-down. Guess we'll see.
* I believe they're putting it together in a loft apartment downtown these days, with final layout outsourced to a centralized Gannett sweatshop in Louisville or Taiwan, though I could be wrong. And wrong that the news staff is under a dozen men and women, running like mad to keep up; but I'm not all that far wrong.
4 weeks ago