How can two states have the same law and only one get condemned for it? Or twenty states?
Pete Heck writes in the Indy Star about opposition to the Indiana religious freedom restoration law:
Eskenazi Health argued that enactment of the law could lead to the denial of health services for people in need of medical attention. To bolster this outlandish and irresponsible claim, one activist testified before the Statehouse that before her female partner died of ovarian cancer, she worried that the enactment of SB101 in Indiana might cause her to lose her cancer care. In the midst of her emotional testimony, however, it came to light that she had been regularly taking her ailing partner to Illinois for chemotherapy. As previously noted, Illinois has an identical religious freedom law already in place. Oops.
Heck is right. In fact, it is not just Illinois. As the Washington Post points out,
The NCAA has voiced its concern ahead of Final Four in Indianapolis next week, there are calls to boycott the state, and Miley Cyrus has even weighed in, calling Pence a name that we can’t reprint on this family Web site in an Instagram post.
But Indiana is actually soon to be just one of 20 states with a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Forty percent of U.S. states have something similar to Indiana, as does the federal government.
A federal RFRA signed by President Clinton in 1993 shares language with Indiana and other states’ bills, prohibiting the government from “substantially burdening” individuals’ exercise of religion unless it is for a “compelling government interest” and is doing so in the least restrictive means.
Pence has begun to feel the fallout from his decision. But while Indiana is being criticized, the NCAA didn’t say it was concerned over how athletes and employees would be affected by Kentucky’s RFRA when games were played there last week, there aren’t any plans to boycott states like Illinois or Connecticut, and Miley Cyrus has yet to post a photo of President Clinton or any of the 19 other governors who have also signed RFRAs.
Yesterday, an Illinois TV news station apparently felt anxious about the hypocrisy and attempted to explain that, because they passed a “human rights” law in 2006, it supersedes that other law. But lots of states don’t have a human rights law like that, and they aren’t being attacked.
Besides, is someone going to argue that people were denying service to homosexuals on the basis of the law before 2006? That would have made the news if it happened. We haven’t heard about it because no one behaved that way in Illinois. Nor are they doing so in Indiana.
The real agenda here is to simply rescind all religious freedom laws. Pete Heck shows us what we are up against by recounting what happened on his radio show:
A few years ago I hosted gay activist attorney Andrea Ritchie on my radio program and asked her whether she believed the homosexual lobby could peacefully coexist with traditional Christian morality. After a very pregnant pause, she responded pointedly: “Sure, if Christians will give up their resistance to our cause.”
These people don’t even have a clue about tolerance or freedom of conscience. The only thing they know is forcing other people to behave the way they want them to.