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 …

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  1. jason 7

    Just change the word...

    ...'Religion' to 'Death Cult'. Looks far more dramatic, sinister and yet truthful.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damnit.

    We were just about to announce the wholesale move of the Church of Holy Thermonuclear Detonation to Indiana so we can exercise our right to religious freedom with a megaton blast.

    Now then brethren, let's all spread the fallout of the lord and bask in his light...

  3. David 14

    Its all about "Businesses" being "People"

    Maybe my reading of the full situation is incorrect here, but is this not all related to the fact that according to relatively-new US law, Businesses are being afforded "rights" similar to people?

    While I am not American, I can see how "freedom of religion" should allow an individual be able to choose who they perform services for based on those grounds... as long as they are not causing direct physical harm, this shuld not cause concern... after all the USA is based on the concept of "tolerance" and not "acceptance" of others.

    When they start allowing a company or business to use this argument, I start taking notice. A business is not a person... they get very special treatment and have a completely different set of rules in which they operate.... they form the fabric of a free countries support infrastructure.

    What this new law can enable is a town to "oust gays" if only the key companies choose to refuse service... maybe the power company decides they wont give electricity to LGBT people... or maybe the grocery stores will choose to not allow LGBT people to buy food... heck... they would be refusing the basics of life.

    I find people who are "anti-gay" despicable... but I can tolerate them. I find intolerant businesses completely unacceptable.

    1. Aitor 1

      Re: Its all about "Businesses" being "People"

      My grandfather had to move his doctor practice because he was catholic, and after wondering what was happening, was duly informed by the protestant pastor that "they didn't like their kind there".

      No one went to the doctor, because even if they wanted, going there would mean discrimination against them.

      I'm not telling a story from northern ireland. This happened in 1935 in the Netherlands.

      And it is discrimination.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. dogged

        Re: Its all about "Businesses" being "People"

        Not at all. If you don't want to serve somebody, don't.

        Just don't say "because you're queer". It's really very simple.

        This law, however, is pretty much encouraging the local Westboro Baptists to hang up banners declaring "WE DON'T SERVE NO FILTHY FAGGOTS" over their shops and if you can't see the problem with that, the problem may well be you.

      2. Six_Degrees

        Re: Its all about "Businesses" being "People"

        If you're going to operate in the Commons, you have to abide by its rules, which go back at least 500 years.

        If you want to openly discriminate, feel free to form a private club. A public business, however, is not for you.

  4. Rabster

    Is it about religion?

    If so why are those people also not against all the other things condemned in the same books of the Bible as the ostensibly anti-homosexual ones? Leviticus? Are they refusing to serve people with tattoos, or who eat shellfish or wear mixed fibers? Paul's I Corinthians 6:9-10? Are they also refusing service to the greedy? Good luck with that. So if not, why not?

    1. fruitoftheloon
      Thumb Up

      @Rabster: Re: Is it about religion?

      Rabster,

      You got that right, picking the facts to match your opinion/belief/bigoted opinion.

      Nothing new here, religious hypocrisy is alive and (un)well....

      J

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Rabster: Is it about religion?

        I think there's a difference between refusing to server a greedy person, or an adulterer and taking part in furthering their activities.

        So, I think most people of Christian or Muslim faith are quite happy, for example, to serve a drunkard a cup of coffee but are not happy to create a web site promoting gambling.

        So, yes the same applies to homosexuality. There's a difference between normal trade and promoting an activity. I think most Christian/Muslim or Jewish people are happy serving a gay couple in a supermarket but would not be happy to sponsor a gay pride march. In fact for a Christian there's a kind of obligation to serve and be helpful... up to a point.

        You also seem to be having trouble understanding the relationship between the old and new testaments... but that's a discussion for another time.

        One more point, as far as I know there are many things CocaCola won't get involved in due to concern for their 'brand image'. Could that be classed as a kind of discrimination?

        1. Swarthy

          Re: @AC: Is it about religion?

          I think there's a difference between refusing to server a greedy person, or an adulterer and taking part in furthering their activities.
          But if they are getting married, how can they be adulterers?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC: Is it about religion?

            Not sure if this is an attempt at humor or deliberately missing the point.

            I can't see that the OP said they were getting married. However, for the sake of pedantry they could have committed adultery and later got married, perhaps following a divorce.

        2. Rabster

          Re: @Rabster: Is it about religion?

          "You also seem to be having trouble understanding the relationship between the old and new testaments... but that's a discussion for another time."

          Do I? Are there other parts of either that are anti-homosexual?

          And I did notice you move the goalposts - there is a difference between providing the service you normally do as a business and actively promoting a pride rally. One is business as usual (or should be), the other is going beyond normal service.

          1. Rabster

            Re: @Rabster: Is it about religion?

            You may need an FB account to see this. I can't find it on his website

            https://www.facebook.com/kevinfrankcartoons/photos/a.717813978269108.1073741828.717276188322887/917471291636708/?type=1

    2. John G Imrie

      Re: Is it about religion?

      Here's a goody that I use when confronted by the religious bidets.

      If my work mate works on the Sabbath am I morally obliged to kill them myself or can I call the police.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Martin

      Re: Leave people alone

      You've made a lot of unsupported accusations against the gay community there.

      Any actual evidence?

    2. Mike Smith

      Re: Leave people alone

      "In one case I read about they didn't wait for the police, but beat the old man up first; who was, of course, then arrested and tried with "hate". He died, being old and infirm and unaccustomed to this kind of punishment, before his "case" could come to court."

      Could you post a citation, please? I'd like to understand a little more about that.

      Cheers.

  6. ElectricRook

    hypocrisy on display

    Cook is using his right to ignore others to attract the right to ignore others.

  7. Dan Paul

    Religious Discrimination

    I feel quite comfortable stating that the majority of El Reg commenters are anti-religious and atheist. And you are welcome to your opinion. However, there are many here that take that to an extreme and that is strictly discriminatory.

    What have we done to you by simply having Christian beliefs and espousing them? Is that ANY different than you doing the same? Where is the moderation when it is clear that there are extremely derogatory and intolerant statements being made against Christians?

    It wasn't a Christian that dragged out the Old Testament on these forums and started quoting ancient beliefs that are no longer mainstream, it was an intolerant atheist.

    If we have done nothing to you except express our beliefs in certain circumstances; why do you feel you have the the right to criticize and demean our beliefs?

    We have not demeaned you because you are gay or atheist. We have said nothing to that effect.

    However, both the commenters and the author of this clickbait article have taken every opportunity to present a one sided argument that we are evil just because we are Christians.

    As such, I say you are intolerant bigots because you are anti-religious.

    Over 19 other states and the federal government have almost identical "Freedom of Religion" laws and there are no outcrys against them, only Indiana.

    Obama himself was instrumental in proffering an almost identical "Freedom of Religion" law in Illinois. Where is the outrage against his hypocrisy? Nowhere, because it is inconvenient to the truth that Kieran wishes to tell.

    Does Kieran Mcarthy feel she and El Reg don't have to provide all the truth but only their bigoted anti-religious opinion? Sadly, it would seem so.

    Again the left wing speaks before they bother to learn all the facts or include them in their articles. This is the same idiocy that happened in these comments about Ferguson Missouri after it became clear that Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Brown and cleared by the state grand jury and the Federal Grand Jury investigation.

    It is not considered "good reporting" to slant your article towards one side or the other. The word "Tabloid" comes to mind. Perpetuating these lies is even worse behavior.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Religious Discrimination

      You cannot be serious; sorry, you can because I know a number of people, mostly older, with similar views and feelings of persecution. Underneath it all is a huge frustration and confusion over how they and the Church have lost so much influence and control over how wider society behaves.

      I don't think this particular issue is specific to Christianity; it is just that in this case we have a cultural meme that hooks into poorly understood passages in the Bible. In other countries there are much worse cultural practices based on distortions of Islamic, Hindu, Christian, maybe even atheist, belief systems. It seems to be a natural fate for the organised aspect of all belief systems to become corrupted by their social context, and for these in turn to then distort the beliefs they started from.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Religious Discrimination

      > Does Kieran Mcarthy feel she and El Reg don't have to provide all the truth but only their bigoted anti-religious opinion? Sadly, it would seem so.

      And it sickens me to see it happening. Putting out a loaded, one-sided article that trashes people of conscience is far benaeath the standards I've come to expect here. I'm sure it was done in the knowledge that the majority here are tech-minded people with little real understanding of anything outside their specialties, and they could be counted on to jump on board, in an orgy of hatred for those they deem the 'enemy.'

      1. fruitoftheloon
        Stop

        @Big John: Re: Religious Discrimination

        Big John,

        could you clarify for me exactly how you are sure the 'the majority here are tech-minded people with little real understanding of anything outside of their specialities'?

        On record here I have stated that I couldn't care less what religious folk do as long as it does impact the lives on ANYONE ELSE.

        It is funny how religious folk here don't seem to get the fundamental flaw in their arguments about this law...

        Cheers,

        j

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Big John: Religious Discrimination

          > ...I have stated that I couldn't care less what religious folk do as long as it does impact the lives on ANYONE ELSE.

          Islamics, wanting McDonalds to serve halal food, would necessarily drive up the cost for everyone else, and that would impact their lives. I take it you would strongly oppose any encroachment of halal rules in western food preparation, right? Think very hard before you answer...

          1. fruitoftheloon
            Happy

            @Big John: Re: @Big John: Religious Discrimination

            Big john,

            Many thanks for your contribution.

            In the (unlikely) event of McDs only serving halal-esque meat, I would choose to eat elsewhere...

            Re wider use of halal butchery, in the UK I don't imagine the market is that big anyway (of course I could be wrong on that).

            Either way, I don't imagine the butchers in our village would be overly concerned...

            Also were I a McDs stockholder I wouldn't be too chuffed.

            Regards,

            J.

    3. fruitoftheloon
      Stop

      @Dan: Re: Religious Discrimination

      Dan,

      that was funny!!

      I feel quite comfortable in my opinion that you are talking ouf of your derriere...

      Espousing your beliefs is clearly your prergorative (and rightly so), appearing not to realise the implications of this law to to folk that are DIFFERENT from you is another thing all together...

      I hypothesize (feel free to correct me), that if the law in Indiana would have a significantly negative impact on your religious beliefs in terms of how you live your life you may be a little bit grumpy, such as:

      - banning all religious symbols

      - ensuring that children of religious parents are not automatically 'inducted' into the same church without having experience of other churches/belief systems

      - remove taxable benefits to all religions

      Regards,

      j.

    4. Rabster

      Re: Religious Discrimination

      I quoted from both the Old and New testaments - Paul's letters to the Corinthians are NT btw. So are you saying that christians (of your sort) are no longer intolerant of lifestyles choices such as eating shellfish (OT) or being greedy (NT) but are still intolerant of biologically determined factors such as sexual orientation?

      I suppose I am pretty much an atheist these days but far from being intolerant I send my daughter to a religious school - it fits with my wife's beliefs and she's happy there. The staff are nice people and I help them raise funds for their food bank etc. It's a shame that the RC still regards homosexuality as "disordered" but they do still say "They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. "

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/mysticpolitics/6648973809/

  8. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    IT Angle

    Why is this tech news?

    Because tech companies got their hackles up? If we use that test everything going on in the world suddenly becomes tech news.

    1. fruitoftheloon
      Happy

      @Alan Re: Why is this tech news?

      Alan,

      err yes, as it says in the article...

      J

  9. Paddy B

    Not just in Indiana

    They're busily trying to introduce something very similar here in the UK as well, at least in my own little backwater of it:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-30385535

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who's belief wins?

    As an individual I can choose who I want to befriend, a gay, a jew, a human, a christian or a dog. As an individual I can also choose not to befriend one of those above due to whatever reason I choose.

    As a business I, by law, can not choose. That is the issue.

    Does a business have an ethic? If that ethic is derived from a particular viewpoint (for instance a Christian belief that being gay is morally wrong) should it be sued if it discriminates against a gay couple?

    If I choose not to go to my local restuarant because it gave me the runs I don't try to sue it...I just go elsewhere where I am more likely to be treated better.

    It is not equal to be able to say one person's level of discrimination is worse than someone else's.

    People must be allowed their intolerances without being liable to be sued...they can be ostracised instead if one really feels the need.

  11. BornToWin

    Maybe not?

    This story implies that the legislation is gay hate but I'm not so sure that is the case. It was intended to protect religious beliefs but IMO that is secondary to the publics interest. Thus if you chose to own a business or work in one and you have a religious issue with something associated with serving the public, you should seek employment elsewhere.

    1. asdf

      Re: Maybe not?

      >It was intended to protect religious beliefs

      Something tells me it wasn't passed like the Federal law for example to protect Native Americans who use peyote. I dare guess even with this law that forward thinking state (note sarcasm) would probably look for ways to put brown people having vision quests put in jail because only the white people's religions count.

  12. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "He stood by the legislation, but said he would work with Indiana lawmakers to "see if there's a way to clarify the intent of the law" – something planned for this week."

    I merely meant to say that when you arrive it's a pleasure, and after you leave we only hunger for more.

    1. lorisarvendu

      Re: Bah!

      "I merely meant to say that when you arrive it's a pleasure, and after you leave we only hunger for more."

      Stevie, you truly shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.

  13. Trainee grumpy old ****
    WTF?

    So WWJD?

    Given the examples provided in the Bible, do you truly believe that Jesus would refuse to have anything to do with a person who was <insert orientation here>? If He wouldn't, what gives you an opt out based on your belief in him?

    (not a follower of any "major faith")

    1. Swarthy

      Re: So WWJD?

      When I hear/see people ask "What Would Jesus Do", I have to try to refrain from commenting that chasing bankers with a whip and flipping tables is still an option. (John 2:15)

      The attempt at restraint filed in this case.

  14. LINCARD1000
    Devil

    It amuses me how many of the self-identified Christians posting here have begun with posting what initially sound like reasoned arguments, only to descend into name-calling and self-inflicted victimization. It isn't like you're a persecuted minority, unlike many of those who you have issues with. You stand to lose absolutely nothing if the various minorities have the same rights that you do in the eyes of the law.

    I suspect that once all minorities (or whatever you'd like to call them) have all the same rights and privileges as everyone else that the activists will go away. That's all they're after - equal rights, the right to be treated like anyone. Everyone stands on their own merits after that.

    It also amuses me that the concept of my (legally recognized) gay marriage might cause someone, somewhere to have an aneurysm :-) I'll think of you the next time I kiss my husband.

    XXX

    1. fruitoftheloon
      Pint

      @Lincard

      Lincard,

      right-on, you have summarised it all much better than I did...

      Btw I think your marriage is awesome!!

      Have one (two) on us

      Cheers,

      jay

  15. asdf

    obvious answer

    Another way to make the legislature regret passing this law is to really push the boundaries of non Christian religions. I imagine Muslims especially could get them to repeal this law in no time if only Indiana wasn't so white bred. Freedom of religion in the modern political context almost always means right for rich whites to do what they want, like they really need that codified.

  16. Rick Brasche

    there is a reason to SUPPORT this legislation

    because it lets you KNOW where you stand. As it is, forcing people to accept your business, when they would rather not, means you're paying good money against your own best interest.

    Me, I WANT to know what business hates me and why, so I KNOW not to go there.

    Forced tolerance, means hidden hate. Open that sh*t up and expose it. Don't force it to hide.

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