back to article Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure

The governor of Indiana is quietly backtracking on a law that threatens to legalize discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people – after growing pressure from tech companies. Business portal Angie's List, which is based in the state, has halted its expansion after the law was passed last week. Its CEO …

Page:

  1. Michael Thibault

    Seen this before

    >developing legal workarounds that would enable individuals and businesses to potentially withhold their products and services.

    A variant on Jim Crow laws. Not surprisingly, a few conservative strains are being consistently resistant to evolution. Peace, love, ... and thinly-disguised supremacist malevolence and hatred.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Craigness

    Inconsistent

    "America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business,"

    That's why Apple doesn't discriminate against Saudi Arabia, which religiously uses its freedom to act like ****s towards anyone they want.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Inconsistent

      It's very inconsistent. If I went to a Jewish delicatessen and insisted (by invoking the current laws) that they had to serve me a pork sandwich because the law said they couldn't discriminate, I'd be literally tar and feathered by both the right and left. Or what about a Muslim going into a restaurant and demanding (followed by a lawsuit) over the restaurant's lack Halal?

      It works both ways... or should. Businesses shouldn't be allowed to discriminate on customers and vice versa.

      1. Craigness

        Re: Inconsistent

        Or if you want to force a muslim publisher to print pictures of Mohammed...

        (that would be interesting because unlike christians they're a "protected group" so might already have religious freedom)

        We can't all have rights when government is expected to decide them. The fight is to decide who should be allowed them, and christians are losing. It's one set of bigots against another.

        <waiting for downvotes from both sets of bigots>

        1. Striped Lungi

          Re: Inconsistent

          UP votes or down votes.. what has this got to do with muslims or ANY religion for that matter.. two guys want to be romantic irrepsctive of their own gender or what the people think about them.. if they are adults and of sane mind, it should be none of the state's business.. They do whtever they want to do in the privacy of their home.. who is anybody else including the state to dictate? On one hand "privacy' or violation of it is wrong.. then you go about OKing discrimination.. and when asked bring in other religions into it?

          P.S I am not a muslim or christian or jew or any other religion. I am an atheist but I think religion is a private affair and no one has the right to drag anyone else's religion as a valid argument for anything..

        2. lorisarvendu

          Re: Inconsistent

          "Or if you want to force a muslim publisher to print pictures of Mohammed..."

          Surely you can't have a Muslim publisher? How can a corporate entity have a religion? You could have a Muslim who works for a publisher who would refuse to print your photos. The publisher should then find another worker who isn't a Muslim who would be happy to do it. If they can't (because all their workers are Muslims) then you go find another publisher.

          1. skeptical i
            Unhappy

            Re: Inconsistent

            Hi, Lorisavendu:

            re: " How can a corporate entity have a religion?"

            I haven't read the ruling, but apparently the U.S. Supreme Court figured it out for Hobby Lobby. Maybe they saw the Catholic Church as long-established precedent?

            As I type NPR is reporting that Indiana Governor Pence is asking the State Assembly to amend the law to "clarify" its intent by week's end.

      2. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Inconsistent

        "It's very inconsistent. If I went to a Jewish delicatessen and insisted (by invoking the current laws) that they had to serve me a pork sandwich because the law said they couldn't discriminate, I'd be literally tar and feathered by both the right and left." -- Mark 85

        Read Lysenko's post above. The Jewish delicatessen is perfectly entitled to not have pork in the shop (would you insist on a pair of Levi's from the building supplies store?) but they are not entitled to refuse to sell you a Bagel *because* you are non-white, female, disabled, LGBTI, a marine, etc. They are perfectly entitled to not serve you because they don't want to, but they can't put up a sign saying "no Irish" even though they can, If they feel like it, refuse to serve you when you walk in and say "Top o' d' morning to yer!" A wedding photographer can simply refuse all gay wedding assignments, but it is unacceptable for them to say "no gay weddings" or even, I would contend, to say "no, because you're gay". All they have to do is say "No". It really is that simple.

      3. Striped Lungi

        Re: Inconsistent

        That is a stupid argument.. you go into a jewish delicatessen and ask for pork they will say "we do not cook that here".. same as if you went into a vegeterian resturant and asked for egg or chicken.. "what part of vegeterian is not understandable?".. its like me going into a mosque and asking an imam there to do a hindu ritual for someone..

        I guess it would be like going to a butcher for a surgery or a doctor to buy meat.. wrong place. That is NOT discrimination. You need specific type of food, you either cook it yourself or go to those speciaity restaurants. You cannot DEMAND someone give you service they do not provide and then sue them for discrimination.. try suing verizon for not providing you electricity

      4. ChrisCabbage

        Re: Inconsistent

        Bad (and often used in this case) analogy.

        The Jewish delicatessen isn't serving pork sandwiches to anyone. Therefore, they're not serving to one group of people whilst refusing to serve another.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Religious bigots

    See title.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Neanderthals in and at the heart of the Homeland, is a recipe for disaster/burnt cake offerings

    Do you think such bigoted discrimination/religious business fundamentalism is what blights and prevents Northern Ireland, and by virtue of its controlling union with the United Kingdom (and boy oh boy, is that a titanic oxymoron of colossal proportions) Great Britain too, from progressing into the future with access to lucrative exotic alien and erotic foreign markets? ..... http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/judgement-reserved-in-ashers-gay-cake-case-31100867.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Neanderthals in and at the heart of the Homeland, is a recipe for disaster/burnt cake offerings

      "Do you think such bigoted discrimination/religious business fundamentalism is what blights and prevents Northern Ireland"

      Nope - it's a positive imo. Anyway, people shouldn't be forced to have to promote such things - that are commonly considered offensive and perverted - regardless of what some imaginary being thinks of it.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Re: Neanderthals in and at the heart of the Homeland, .....

        Thanks for the honesty in the sharing of your opinion, AC, even though such might lead to an offensive and perverted disagreement and passionate assault against such a view being acceptable and mainstream in new ages of tolerances and respectful indifference to alternative life style choices and private practices in the public realm.

        Bravo, Sir/or Madam.

      2. fruitoftheloon
        FAIL

        @Ac: Re: Neanderthals in.....ter/burnt cake offerings

        Dear Ac,

        Those views may be common where you were brought up, they certainly were not common where I was brought up - in a grottyish bit of East London amongst a lot of other common people.

        Re your assumption about 'common beliefs', (which is what it is) are you familiar with alternate pronunciations for assume?

        Just wondered...

        J

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Ac: Neanderthals in.....ter/burnt cake offerings

          Those views are still pretty common in any the London pubs I drink in and always have been. Can't say I can think of a single male friend that would be comfortable knowing someone male around was gay. Especially around East London, where the immigrants dislike it even more than the indigenous population!

          1. Thomas Letherby

            Re: @Ac: Neanderthals in.....ter/burnt cake offerings

            You seriously need some better friends and better pubs. There's thousands of them in London, shouldn't be too hard.

            In my experience anti-gay views are treated with the same surprise as someone muttering racist opinions by the majority.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Ac: Neanderthals in.....ter/burnt cake offerings

              "In my experience anti-gay views are treated with the same surprise as someone muttering racist opinions by the majority."

              Both are the overwhelming norm in the vast majority of pubs in London in my experience - as someone who gets to a fair few... To put it bluntly, in my extensive experience, not many English people like foreigners or gays. Fergal, Iron, Ginger, Haricot and Stoke being the most common terms of reference....

  5. Rob 5

    Has it occurred to any of the shouty people...

    ...that what these folks refusing to do business with Indiana are doing is exactly what the law that they're protesting about protects people's right to do?

    1. Michael Thibault

      Re: Has it occurred to any of the shouty people...

      >...that what these folks refusing to do business with Indiana are doing is exactly what the law that they're protesting about protects people's right to do?

      Iff business is a religion. Arguably the mythical "invisible hand" is the core belief, and ... well, you can take it from there. But it's probably wisest not to refer to the elephantine sacred cow unless necessary (or useful) to do so; until either, it has its place--quietly in the background.

  6. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Much ado?

    I had to look up the Elane Photography vs. Willock case to justify my El Reg handle. Seems that NM has a law on its books prohibiting refusing service on the grounds of the customer's sexual orientation. The (lesbian) couple in question were, apparently, politely refused, had no problem finding another photographer at a cheaper price, and happily tied the knot. And then they still sued...

    I wonder what would happen if the photographers just said they were fully booked and could not provide the service. I suspect they would be sued anyway. Frankly, I think I mind Indiana laws much less than a law that allows that.

    I am not sure where the line is drawn. On the one hand, allowing businesses to refuse regular service to people of colour or Jews or Muslims or LGBT is out of the question in this day and age. On the other hand, somehow I don't see a Jew suing a Christian butcher for not providing kosher meat - that would not be grounds for a religious discrimination accusations, would it? And I have a bit of a trouble trying to distinguish between a steak going through a particular process and a wedding cake baked in a particular shape or form. A kosher steak would be a bigger "burden" practically, but where is the line? The "burden" in the law is not about practicalities, anyway, and there is nothing in the Christian religion that specifically prohibits kosher food, is there? And I can see how a devout Christian might consider providing a traditional cake for a non-traditional wedding as actively participating in a rite that is inconsistent with his beliefs. Point is, should this - and kosher food, too - be considered a specialized service and should the rules be a bit different?

    The "we don't like your attitude so we won't do business with you" position of Apple et al. seems a reasonable approach (compared to "let's sue the hell out of all these Christian fundamentalists!" that is so often the alternative nowadays). On the other hand, at least from a distance Indiana does not seem to say "LGBT folks are not welcome here." They say, "do come, but please respect everybody." It's not like an Apple employee on a business trip to Indiana has to fill out a questionnaire on what one does in the bedroom before sitting down for a restaurant meal.

    A gedankenexperiment: Let's say Indiana affirmed the right of individual shops and restaurants to not serve kosher food (possibly as a result of a lawsuit), and Jewish-owned businesses, starting with Facebook for visibility, said they would boycott the state. What would the pubic opinion be? [Come to think of it, the public might well misinterpret the measure as a ban on kosher products and all hell might break loose.]

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Much ado?

      A gedankenexperiment: Let's say Indiana affirmed the right of individual shops and restaurants to not serve kosher food

      That is a silly comparison. One case is letting business arbitrarily decide what they sell, and the other is letting them arbitrarily decide who they sell to.

    2. Aitor 1

      Re: Much ado?

      You reply to a non question.

      If you want to serve only pork, that is your problem.

      If you refuse to serve pork to jeks/muslims/blacks/gays/pegasisters then it is discrimination.

      As for the "standard" service, some services are, by definition, non standard, as photography, wedding cakes, florist services, etc.

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Tell me again

    How *my* beliefs/sexual preferences/weight/lifestyle affects *your* beliefs?

    The argument about someone offering a service is straight-forward to anyone who is not a lawyer: by offering the service, you implicitly offer it to everyone. No ifs, no buts (with the obvious exceptions prescribed by law such as selling alcohol to minors).

    If you don't want two blokes in the same room in your guest house, don't open a guest house.

    If you don't want to sell a wedding cake to two women, don't sell wedding cakes.

    If you don't want to sell a frock to a bloke, don't sell frocks.

    Realise that you are in business; look to the bottom line, and keep your religious bigotry at home.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tell me again

      "Realise that you are in business; look to the bottom line, and keep your religious bigotry at home."

      But that's discrimination. Their view point is no less valid than yours.

      1. squizzar

        Re: Tell me again

        How? The only discrimination is against those who wish to provide a discriminatory service in the first place.

        I don't think it's that complicated: If you run a business then it has to be available to everyone regardless. You don't _have_ to run a business at all. You don't _have_ to run a business that disagrees with your religious beliefs. You don't _have_ to work for a business that provides services that disagree with your religious beliefs. You don't _have_ to work for a business that provides services to people that offend your religious beliefs.

        What you _have_ to do, as a business, is provide the same service you are willing to offer to one person to everyone. You can't pick your customers for religious reasons. Or racial. Or gender. Or sexuality. Or appearance. Your customers can pick you - so they can maintain their own preferences - but you can't pick them. If you don't want to deal with the public with all the variety of differences between one person and the next implied by that then don't deal with the public - you're free to do that.

        Essentially your argument is that one has the right to run a discriminatory business, and an awful lot of people disagree with you there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tell me again

          "If you run a business then it has to be available to everyone regardless"

          Nope - your business, your choice of what you do and for who.

          1. ChrisCabbage

            Re: Tell me again

            Not according to the Civil Rights Act.

      2. lorisarvendu

        Re: Tell me again

        "But that's discrimination. Their view point is no less valid than yours."

        So if you don't want to photograph my gay wedding, you're discriminating against me. But if I say you can't refuse (because you'll be breaking the Law) then I'm discriminating against you?

        The bottom line here is that preventing someone from discriminating...is itself discriminating.

        Good God, where does it stop?!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tell me again

          "So if you don't want to photograph my gay wedding, you're discriminating against me."

          Sure, I would find such an event in extremely poor taste. Largely because to me it's a joke calling it marriage / a wedding when it clearly isn't. But there are no doubt plenty of less fussy photographers who would take your business.

          Presumably in the same way, your could refuse to serve me at your hairdressers / airline / clothes store / cruise line / dance school / whatever for finding what you do rather grim. Which is just fine by me.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. frank ly

    He needs an accountant

    "I just can't account for the hostility that's been directed at our state,"

    It's a simple audit trail.

  9. returnmyjedi

    Whatever happened to love thy neighbour? Or indeed following Leviticus to the letter? I'd wager three Easter eggs that most of the concerned Christians that root their beliefs in the bible regularly chow down on shrimps and other crustaceans, don't beat their children to death every time they refuse to put their iPad down, and probably shave as well! Heathens!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Or indeed following Leviticus to the letter?

      "For we live not under the Law, but under grace"..

      1. dogged

        > "For we live not under the Law, but under grace"..

        So why do you keep invoking this law that you don't follow?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its miy butt not thine

    I fail to see how one person's anatomical real estate (in this case his behind) is a state business.. How that person's private life makes the law makers uncomfortable.. what ever happened to the maxim.. "its thy butt not mine.. " (or the reverse "its my butt not thine" coming from the defendant)? Two blokes, in their own privacy find it worthwhile to drool over each other's behind.. hey it is a free world.. who asked the lawmakers to be peeping toms and then get their underwear into un-disentangleable knots? These religion folks should be taught to mind their own business (and butts) instead of other's.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its miy butt not thine

      "Two blokes, in their own privacy find it worthwhile to drool over each other's behind.. hey it is a free world"

      Try having 2 of them doing it next to you at a table in a restaurant. It happened to me recently - 2 guys slobbering all over each other and holding hands, etc. Made me feel physically sick. Needless to say I rapidly took my business elsewhere.

      1. chriswakey

        Re: Its miy butt not thine

        "Try having 2 of them doing it next to you at a table in a restaurant. It happened to me recently - 2 guys slobbering all over each other and holding hands, etc. Made me feel physically sick. Needless to say I rapidly took my business elsewhere."

        Jealous because they were getting some and you weren't, eh?

        Open your mind to new things.

      2. Martin
        WTF?

        Re: Its miy butt not thine

        "Try having 2 of them doing it next to you at a table in a restaurant. It happened to me recently - 2 guys slobbering all over each other and holding hands, etc. Made me feel physically sick. Needless to say I rapidly took my business elsewhere."

        Simple question. Would it have bothered you if they were a heterosexual couple?

        If yes, then it was probably inappropriate behaviour, and you could have asked the manager to intercede.

        If no - then you're just a bigot.

        Out of curiousity, how do you feel about mixed-race couples?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Martin
            FAIL

            Re: Its miy butt not thine

            "Anyone who disagrees with you is a bigot? The bigot is you. Learn some respect for others."

            It's not a matter of disagreeing with me.

            If the behaviour of a couple doesn't bother you if they are heterosexual, but the same behaviour bothers you if they are homosexual, then you are demonstrating that you are a bigot.

            I'll respect you when you demonstrate you've earned respect - not just because you demand it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Its miy butt not thine

              Right. so If I'm OK with heterosexual couples but I dislike those that engage in Bestiality and Paedophilia then i'm a bigot too?

              Exactly the same principle applies here. All are distasteful to me,

              1. Martin

                Re: Its miy butt not thine

                Paedophilia involves children, who are by definition non-consenting. It's also illegal.

                Bestiality also involves non-consenting creatures, and is also illegal.

                Homosexuality is legal, and involves consenting adults. It's rather different. It doesn't float my boat, but I have no objections to others doing it. And if they want to hold hands in public, like any other couple, why shouldn't they?

                If a homosexual found heterosexual couple behaviour distasteful, to the extent that he walked out of a restaurant, wouldn't you call him a bigot? (Perhaps you wouldn't...)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Its miy butt not thine

                  How about Scat and water games then? I find those sexual preferences distasteful and offensive too. Am I a bigot still?

                  And no I wouldn't call him a bigot. I wold probably be glad he had left though...

                  1. Triggerfish

                    Re: Its miy butt not thine

                    "How about Scat and water games then?"

                    Well I'd probably be upset if they were trying them in a restaurant too.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Aitor 1

    "we cater only to white trade"

    Exactly the same. And ppl are defending that.

    I guess the the reg has KKK readers.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The underlying problem is the confusion between religion and culture; anti-gay is a cultural behaviour, not a religious one, although in some parts of the world it does use careful interpretation of religious text as a spurious justification. The same applies to various anti-female, anti-racist, etc practices around the world.

    Hence IMO religious tolerance is generally a good thing, but a naive multiculturalism that accepts all aspects of all cultures as being of equal worth is not.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Congress shall pass no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion

    Last week the residents of Indiana, through their elected representatives, joined 19 other states and the Federal Government by passing a law making it illegal for the state to pass any law that compels someone to violate their religion, without there being a compelling overriding reason. The premise behind the law is that it is necessary because the supreme court has ruled that the Federal law only applies to Federal government, and not to the states.

    The law does NOT “legalize discrimination”. If anything, this is an ANTI-discrimination law, making it so that the state government cannot discriminate. The groups who are trying to say that it does are either purposely misrepresenting it, or are doing so through ignorance.

    What is different or unique about Indiana’s law is that it expands the definition of a person to include individuals, organizations, and businesses. It is quite true that other versions of the law don’t explicitly say that, but the courts have already ruled that to be the legal situation, such as with the cases of Hobby Lobby or Notre Dame against the Affordable Care Act, so that really isn't something new.

    As an individual this law means that I can put a cross or star of David on my door, and the state can’t pass a law saying that it is illegal. It means that if I am a practicing Muslim (or Amish) who wears a beard for religious purposes the state can’t make me shave it off in order to work for the state.

    As an origination it means that I can’t be excluded from state grants or funding just because the organization is ALSO religious. While the big one here are funds for schools, it also means that if a church wants to put together a team to compete in a softball league organized by the city’s parks department they can’t be excluded or told that they can’t have a cross on their uniform.

    As a business owner, what this means is that if I decide to put a nativity scene in my store window the state or city cannot pass a law preventing me from doing so. If I decide to wish my customers “Merry Christmas” I am free to do so without fear of it being banned. If someone does try to persecute me I can claim this law as a defense. It does NOT give me to right to refuse to serve someone solely based upon the color of their skin or their sexual orientation. Courts have already routinely ruled that there is a compelling and overriding state interest there.

    The law also states that if someone is an idiot and does try to do something like that using this law as a justification and the person denied service sues, that the state can come in and join the case against the business. That’s a pretty big stick.

    So what is the big deal about the law? Publicity. It seems like everyone wants to use this as a stepping stone to launch their own agenda, even if that means deliberately misrepresenting it in order to get air time.

    Be better than that. Be informed. Read the law. Note that there is nothing in there that says that a business can discriminate. The first amendment to the US Constitution states that congress shall pass no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, this just restates that and extends the prohibition to the state level.

    There are always going to be idiots and bigots. If a photographer feels so strongly that their religious views are offended by being there to document and solemnize a gay wedding, do you really want them there anyway? When they get to the “does anyone know why these two should not be married speak now” part, do you really want them stepping up and saying something, making a fool of themselves, and ruining the day? What will REALLY happen if ANY business tries to do something like that is that so many of their prospective customers, straight or gay, will be so offended that they won’t have enough business to keep the doors open, they go under, and disappear. That is free speech and the free market at work, and that is the American way.

    And in that situation, what about that photographer’s rights? Do we as a community or state really have the right to forcibly compel such a person to be there? Do we have the right to force them to engage in creative work that violates their religious sensibilities, even if we don’t agree with them? Is that tolerance? That photographer has every right to be an idiot, let them be one.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020