Indiana state should remedy a bill that limits the civil rights of its LGBT residents.
INDIANA legislators might not have anticipated the furor caused by a law allowing people to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans under the guise of religious freedom.
In fact, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act set off a very different kind of March madness in the home state of the NCAA last Thursday. Critics warn this might be the only law of its kind in the nation that allows anyone in the private and public sectors to refuse service, housing and other rights to LGBT residents.
The citizens of Washington are no strangers to the battle against inequality. In 2012, a majority of voters chose to legalize same-sex marriage.
Even today, the struggle continues. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued and fined a Richland florist after she refused to do business with a longtime customer because he was marrying a man.
Supporters of LGBT rights will not stand idle as fellow Americans try to roll back the clock in the name of religious freedom.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee both announced plans this week to sign executive orders banning taxpayer-funded travel to Indiana on government administrative business.
Some might scoff at these actions as merely symbolic gestures, but they are meaningful contributions to a growing national movement against the Indiana action on social media, hashtagged #BoycottIndiana and #WeAreIndiana.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican and possible contender for higher office, is struggling to explain the bill he signed as his state battles a moral and economic backlash. The consumer-review website Angie’s List has threatened to halt its expansion in Indianapolis. Apple CEO Tim Cook penned a scathing op-ed in The Washington Post. The band Wilco canceled a concert date.
Just days before the Final Four tournament is set to take place in the Hoosier State, the NCAA faces mounting pressure to move those college games out of the state. NCAA President Mark Emmert warned legislators that his league wants to host its championship in an “inclusive environment” — one that is not poisoned by the new law.
A national drumbeat continued Tuesday in Pence’s own backyard.
That state’s largest newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, published a bold front-page editorial with a three-word headline: “FIX THIS NOW.”
Pence should. The clarification he promises by week’s end is not enough.
The Indy Star editorial board called on legislators to enact a state law that bans discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This message of inclusion means liberty for all, not just those who claim to be religious.
Washingtonians know well the benefits of embracing equality. Our state is a better place for it. Indiana should do the same.