TOM THE DANCING BUG: Lo, In the Land of Indiana



Conservatives figured out this “one weird trick” ages ago: if you can’t have government violate someone’s rights, get a business to do it for you.


Great point, Tom Bug!


Yknow, the other group I’ve heard about with this kind of religious stance, is the Ku Klux Klan. Their racial discrimination is based on their reading of scripture. In Indiana the things they like to do that ate illegal (hate crimes) can now be viewed as protected speech. I rather hope they stand up and make this argument… Not that I want them to make it stick…

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Um, I’d guess it’s more like, justified later by a rather desperate selective reading of scripture.


I always thought businesses could deny services to whoever they wanted, and if anything it would be a civil rights issue. “No shirt, no shoes, no service” might be problematic for someone whose religion required them to be shirtless and/or shoeless 24/7. But the courts would find that stores policy to be reasonable, I would hope. Bottom line is… If a baker doesn’t want to bake someone a cake they don’t have to and as long as ADA and civil rights (federal and state) aren’t broken it’s 100% legit. So maybe the civil rights need to be updated, because otherwise this new Indiana law could be used to discriminate by any business owner’s wackadoodle religion.

But isn’t the issue more, if a baker can’t refuse to sell to black people, they also shouldn’t be able to refuse to sell to gay people?

If what you’re saying is that civil rights legislation needs to be updated to include LGBT+ people, then yes, I agree.


Yup that’s what I am saying. The “i am against gay marriage because of my religion so no service” line should carry the same weight as “i am against biracial marriages because of my religion so no service”. But its civil rights, not this stupid law that’s the issue.


Business may discriminate on lots and lots of bases, including not wearing shirts or shoes. They may not, however, discriminate based on protected classes. Federally, these are:

Race, Color, Religion, National origin, Age (40 and over), Sex, Pregnancy, Citizenship, Familial status, Disability status, Veteran status, Genetic information

Beyond the federal protected classes, many states and cities pass their own laws adding to the list of protected classes. Most commonly, these add sexual orientation and/or gender identification as protected classes.

As far as I understand it (and I may not be completely correct), the purpose of the Indiana law is to prevent any form of law that might prevent discrimination of people that religious people want to discriminate against. That is, if some liberal city in Indiana enacts an anti-discrimination law for sexual-orientation, which would then prevent businesses from discriminating service towards gay people, a business owner could argue that it was hurting her religious freedom and get that law struck down.


Well, the law wouldn’t allow discrimination against protected classes (religion, race), and no part of LGBTQ is a protected class - that’s (part of) the point of the law. But it goes beyond that, too. It’s also about allowing people to get away with not doing their jobs when they conflict with conservative Christian beliefs, specifically anything related to abortion or contraceptives. If a pharmacist (even mistakenly) believes a drug with cause an abortion, they can prevent people from getting it. I’d like to think that a grocery store clerk who has a religious belief that “meat is murder” could equally refuse to sell people meat, but the reality is that the law, at least in practice, will only allow the enforcing of the conservative Christian agenda.


I would love to see this lead to the creation of Kosher/Halaal/Vegan/whatever checkout lanes.


This was lovely. I particularly liked the last panel.


I’d rather see a Jewish/Muslim/vegetarian employee at a meat counter - “Oh, you want pork sausage? You’ll have to come back when someone else is working the meat counter.” Customers have to be inconvenienced in the same way someone looking for contraceptive drugs from a pharmacist would be. (Except there might only be one pharmacist within a huge radius.)
This whole thing is pretty screwy. I was reading about a nurse-midwife who interviewed for a job at a family planning center. She stated during the interview that she would refuse to prescribe contraceptive, which was a primary duty of the position. When she failed to get the job, she sued for religious discrimination. We’re going to see a lot of that out of these states with these nonsense “religious freedom” laws.


Congratulations, you just described all religions.


Not how I think of Buddhism…


What you describe is currently happening in Britain, where Muslim checkers refuse to charge up purchases of pork due to their religious beliefs. Which is exactly where this line of “thinking” demonstrated in the Indiana law will lead.

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So you are unfamiliar with the various strains of Buddhist thought on homosexuality.

Congratulations, you sound like an ignorant anti-religious bigot.

Thus proving the problem is not inherent to religion, I guess.


But…but…but…this isn’t at all what this law allows!

…said every defender of the law who is subconsciously aware that the privileged status conferred by being part of the majority will protect them from ever having to suffer under it.


Hardly a revelation. Then again, I’m not the one trying to codify my bigotry into state law.