A minor set-back

I haven't talked about it a lot, but I have talked, a few times, about progress being made by the LBGT movement over the last few years.  It's inevitable that things will improve drastically in the next twenty-ish years (the younger set shows no interest in continuing the hate that drives much of the discrimination), but there will be set-backs on the way.

The newest are bills passed, or pending, in statehouses, that legalize discrimination under the rubric of religious freedom.  It's a sad tactic, using Jesus' name to further vitriolic hatred (even the most cursory reading of the gospels would show that Jesus was invariably kind and loving toward the downtrodden and hated), but Indiana is the most recent example.  Arkansas, I understand, might well be next.

What they did was pass a bill that attempts to make it legal to discriminate against anyone, for any reason, if it conflicts with your religious belief.

With any other Supreme Court in history, there's no chance that this would be upheld in a First Amendment challenge, but who knows, with this Court.  Actually, I think this court would find a way to rationalize saying that it's ok in this one instance, but would acknowledge that it would never be allowed outside the legal contours of this exact case.  That's pretty much the MO of the right wing of this court.  I'm not sure whether to call that extremely ballsy (it's chutzpah, for sure) or completely spineless (because they don't have the courage of their convictions to make broad rulings).

In any event, while this has no long-term impact, I'm sorry to see the short-term hurt it will cause in that state (and in any other states that pass similar laws).

I am glad that some big companies are stepping up, and saying that this is unacceptable.  I'm disappointed that Gen Con (a huge gaming convention, to which I've been a couple of times; fantastic experience, both times) is staying in Indianapolis for at least the next five years.  It goes so completely against the ethos of the gaming community that I'm more surprised than disappointed.

I'm also very disappointed that the NCAA, which certainly has a significant number of LGBT constituents, is also rather mealy-mouthed about their reaction.  I'd agree with Olbermann that they should have immediately pulled out of Indianapolis for the Final Four, regardless of where that forced them to have it.  Indiana's government needs to be smacked in the face, and it would have been good to see the NCAA give that first smack.  The NCAA would have taken a significant financial hit, this year, but would more than make it up down the road.

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