Posts

Showing posts from March, 2015

A Gay Hoosier Lawyer Looks at Indiana’s RFRA: The Religious Bigot Protection Act

Image
I’m a fifth generation native Hoosier (dating back to my great-great grandfather Noah Whaley, who was born in Indiana in 1820 and fought in the Civil War), a lawyer, and a gay activist.I’m astounded at the stupidity of my home state’s action in passing what it calls “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” just signed into law by Governor Mike Pence.While disguised as having something to do with the free exercise of religion, it has only one true purpose: to legitimize discrimination against gay folks.
What does the statute say?I’ve read the statutory language, and here’s my report.First of all, the statute never mentions homosexuality.It simply allows a “person” (defined broadly to include individuals, organizations, corporations, and businesses of all kinds) to refuse to comply with an Indiana statute, regulation, administrative order, or municipal ordinance that mandates conduct that would substantially burden that “person’s” exercise of religion.That’s it.What sort of existing gov…

The Shame of the Republicans in Congress

Image
It’s no fun to think about budgets, but because it’s important let’s do so for a moment.The new budgets proposed by the Republicans in both the House and Senate would be a disaster for the United States if enacted (which won’t happen), because those budgets, while pretending to be about paying down the deficit would actually add to it immensely while cutting both taxes and all federal programs that much of the country depends on, such as Medicare, Social Security, while completely eliminating Obamacare and the taxes that fund it.The tax cuts would—surprise!—make the obscenely wealthy one percent of Americans even more obscenely wealthy, while making the rest of us poorer and bereft of governmental protection.This is irresponsibility at its highest, and, interestingly, it’s fairly new to American politics to be this blatant about the goal.For a terrifying New York Times article on point, see Paul Krugman’s “Trillion Dollar Fraudsters” (published last Friday) [http://www.nytimes.com/20…