Salesforce.com cancels Indiana

In response to Indiana’s new law protecting religious bigotry, Salesforce.com has been the first company to announce that it will be curtailing its Indiana operations. More are coming.

Here’s what their CEO stated: “Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. We are forced to dramatically reduce our investment in IN based on our employee’s & customer’s outrage over the Religious Freedom Bill.”

Salesforce is only a $4bn company, but it is an up-and-coming heavyweight in the tech industry. Having such a high-profile announcement from such a powerful player so quickly was a big surprise. Even if no one else openly joins them, their absence from trade shows, user groups and other activities is going to reverberate, creating pressure on other companies and hurting Indiana businesses.

Flanked by powerhouse Chicago on one side and the booming tech center of Columbus on the other, Indiana is a state that already struggles to compete in this lucrative, well-paid field. It is difficult to develop and retain technical talent and well-paid jobs there in the wake of a collapsed manufacturing base. Becoming a pioneer in discrimination is unlikely to help.

There seems to be a fundamental disconnect in Republican circles over the political value of gay-baiting. The environment changed very fast, and Republicans are not known for their speed of adaptation. Picking on gay people is no longer a winning political tactic. Even Jan Brewer recognizes this. Can we just accept this and move on?

As for the “religious exemptions,” you can’t possibly be serious. We’ve been here before. If the ability to persecute gay people is a central tenet of your religious faith, then your religious faith sucks. We all bear a Constitutional duty to preserve the basic rights of religions that suck, but only up to the point that your religion starts ruining other people’s lives. If you want to hold a job that serves the general public you will be expected not to act like an asshole, even if you think your religion commands it. Be an asshole in private where your right to be an asshole remains sacred.

How bold is Salesforce’s decision? Not nearly as bold as you might think. That’s the other piece of this scenario that GOP figures seem unable to grasp. The supposedly “business-friendly” states like Indiana and Kansas and Alabama and so on are economic pygmies. Skipping out on direct business in Indiana would have less impact on Salesforce.com than if they lost the ability to sell to Malaysia or South Africa. It doesn’t matter. They can skip and Indiana and the only impact will be some savings on travel.

A comparison might be helpful here. Hyper-regulated California, where Salesforce.com and nearly every other major tech player is based has a GDP approximately seven times the size of Indiana while maintaining exactly the same economic growth rate. California’s economic output is almost a third higher than the second ranked state, Texas. Yes, Texas has been growing a lot lately, thanks to the energy business. We’ll see how that goes. Meanwhile, California and New York together account for more of the country’s economic production than the bottom 28 states combined. The San Francisco metro area generates more than one and a half times the output of the whole state of Indiana. Salesforce is not likely to lose any money on this move. In fact, it will probably swell the company’s bottom line and especially aid in recruiting.

Those who want to enshrine a right to discriminate into public policy are overplaying a very weak hand. It is getting weaker by the day. Fortunately for those who cannot reconcile their religious convictions with the rights of my gay friends to live their lives in peace, there is an option. There’s lots of cheap land in Amish Country, where you won’t be bothered. Bring solar panels, unless the mysterious witchcraft that makes them work violates your religion.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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136 comments on “Salesforce.com cancels Indiana
  1. Anse says:

    We have divided the nation in so many ways in order to understand it…White v. Black…Native vs. Immigrant…Rich vs. Poor…but I sometimes think the real divide is Urban vs. Rural, with the suburbs divided between the two. I’ve read more than a few impassioned pleas from residents of Indianapolis insisting that this law is a product of the more zealously religious rural areas, of which Indiana has many. Makes sense. It’s harder, I think, to grasp the ramifications of such retrograde social conservatism when you live in a place where everybody thinks and acts the same way you do. It’s much harder when you live in a city and where you’re forced to live with other people. Even if you live in an area of the city that is relatively homogeneous, you eventually have to confront the Other, usually just about every single day.

    • 1mime says:

      Good point, Anse. The difference used to be that rural people were content to live their lives their own way in their own homes, communities. Now it appears that those who have deeply held fundamentalist views, want others to live as they do. THAT is the problem. Personal lifestyles and beliefs have moved from the home to the legislature.

      • Anse says:

        I *might* take their pro-discrimination view seriously if they would at the very least support legal gay marriage. At least then the whole “you do what you want/we’ll do what we want” reasoning would be consistent.

  2. flypusher says:

    So now Pence is asking for a clarification:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/03/29/396131254/indiana-governor-lawmakers-to-clarify-anti-gay-law

    I curious as to what good he actually thinks this will do, considering the ire is over the potential to discriminate against gay people, and he’s so far not willing to put them in any protected classes. You’re just rearranging the deck chairs, Guv.

    Interesting that in the comments section we have someone trolling with the old “isn’t it better to have this law put the bigots out in the open” line. No, it isn’t, because the cost (allowing discrimination) is too high. If someone hates me, but does their job, I’ll deal with it

  3. way2gosassy says:

    As bad as this law is I think forced sterilization is even worse.

    http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Attorneys-Sterilizations-were-part-of-plea-deal-6164963.php

    Amazing that this is going on under our noses.

    • 1mime says:

      Sassy, the attack on women is so far-reaching that it blows my mind. What in the name of decency is motivating all this hate and need to control women? The recent Hyde amendment debate centered on refusal of abortions to young women who were victims of sex trafficking and became pregnant. “Supposedly” the women could appeal the denial….women who were already in a highly precarious, controlled environment??? Really? Then there are those conservatives who want to eliminate birth control, and, of course, defund clinics which have offered women pregnancy counseling and birth control and cancer/pap screenings. Then we recall Governor Ultrasound who signed the bill requiring a probe be stuck into a woman’s uterus……And, all the heinous laws being proposed to make it more difficult for women to report a rape!

      Sorry, there is something seriously missing in the male psyche who are promoting abominations like these on women, then are the first to criticize women if they do become pregnant and have children that require government support. It is simply appalling.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Maybe women need to go on strike again. That seemed to get the attention of the men in their lives and traveled up the food chain from there.

    • flypusher says:

      Just like allowing discrimination in the public sphere, forced sterilizations are been there, done that, and they’re a bad idea that should never be allowed again:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1449330/

      I completely understand (and share) the anger and frustration over the all too frequent stories of abusive/ neglectful parents. There’s no doubt that quite a few people have no business being parents. But somehow the sterilizations were disproportionally done on the poor/ non-white (not unlike laws that screen out allegedly intelligible voters, or sentencing for crimes). The cure should never be worse than the disease.

  4. texan5142 says:

    Bigotry is bigotry, the definition does not change when labeled as religious freedom. I would hope that the Christ they believe in would serve whom ever walked through the door, Gandhi said it best.

  5. RobA says:

    This gives me a little hope for the political process.

    Imagine that. Two parties working together. And on an actually important issue.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-03-27/rand-paul-and-the-koch-brothers-are-having-a-nixon-in-china-moment

    Credit where it’s due, the GOP is taking the lead on this and it’s the Dems that need to step their game up.

    as Newt says, it’s great to see a competition between the parties to see who can govern/reform first, and not who can obstruct/demonize first.

    Prison reform can do a lot of social good. I have no doubt that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who were incarcerated of a crime at a young age, got out determined to straighten themselves out, and found that every door could help them achieve that was now closed, locked, and nailed shut that.

    Inevitably, those people return to crime and I think get unfairly regarded as lifetime criminals.

    It’s not good policy to have hubdreds of thousands of individuals sitting at 23 years old and thinking they have no chance of ever getting “right” with the system, no matter what they do.

    I like the idea of not asking about criminal convictions, as Georgia now does (I assume, and agree with, that there are exceptions made in specific circumstances, I.e. working with kids or vulnerable people, or being in position of trust over large sums of money etc).

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      RobA,

      Although I don’t agree with the person who said we don’t have [prison] problems in Texas, as written, the article does point out how rudderless the Ds can be if they’re not in opposition to crazy Rs.

      It also makes good points about inactivity problems associated with those who hold ‘moderate’ views, a problem for both parties.

      Personally, I would love to see prison reform. I can think of nothing more nightmarish than prison, surviving it and then getting out to zero opportunities to earn a living. Can’t drive, can’t get a trade license..

      • RobA says:

        Yeah I also laughed when the guy said Texas had no problems.

        Even if the prison system is fine (its not) I would consider death row and it’s application part of the “prison system” even if the actual decisions to execute or not are made by the justice system.

        Hard to say that nothing in Texas’ prison system needs reforming.

      • 1mime says:

        “Texas prison issues”

        Living in TX, I follow news on the prison situation. Texans are mighty proud of how many people they execute but not so responsible about how they try them in the courts. There are way too many cases in which DNA was withheld that would have cleared the convicted, and abuses of the jury process and errant judges. These problems are probably replicated in other states, but TX record on executions is appallingly high.

      • RobA says:

        Also, I do t believe you can vote if your a convicted felon.

        As usual, the people who need a political voice the most are the ones most disenfranchised

    • 1mime says:

      I’ve been interested in the issue of prison reform for a long time. Privitization of prisons began under Pres. Reagan and has grown into a profitable industry. Here a couple of links that will broaden your understanding of the pros and cons of privitization.

      I don’t trust anything the Koch brothers do in the name of public good. It just ain’t in their DNA. That bull is out the barn and he ain’t ever coming back inside. If there’s a buck to be made, the Kochs are all over it. As for Rand Paul, his interest may be more aligned with his Libertarian beliefs but it’s hard to trust anyone who deals with the Kochs.

      http://civilrights.findlaw.com/other-constitutional-rights/private-jails-in-the-united-states.html

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/03/18/private-prisons-holder-minorities-inmates-column/6580077/

      And, this more scholarly study:

      http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/inc_Too_Good_to_be_True.pdf

  6. For a country founded on the concept of individual liberty, we sure seem to have some issues applying those concepts in modern life. Liberty is a fine thing, and I trust that we all want to see our personal liberties preserved. When legal issues arise around personal liberties, they inevitably do so at the intersection of public life and personal liberty, and often in the arena of commerce.

    I support gay marriage because ultimately it boils down to a matter of free association. If we are to uplift and affirm the natural right to free association, then pretty much we are forced to arrive at the conclusion that every individual must to be free to decide with whom they are going to share their life (even if that choice seems a bit dubious to those of us who hew to traditional religious values). Marriage, from a legal standpoint, simply affirms certain rights and privileges between the marriage partners and allows them to function as a joint legal entity for the purposes of some contracts. (Note that these rights and privileges could also be enabled by contractual arrangements other than marriage, but that would be costly and onerous. The marriage license is simply a legal contractual “shortcut.”) Other than these minimal contractual obligations, there really is no objective impact on the public or individual citizens outside of the marriage itself.

    But what about the right to *not* associate with someone? In private life, it’s pretty well established we are free to *not* associate with any person for any reason. As for private associations of like-minded individuals (e.g. the Boy Scouts of America), you would think the answer would be equally obvious, but it’s actually a murky topic subject to considerable legal wrangling.

    When it comes to public association via commerce, as a nation we have more or less settled on the notion that public commerce requires association subject to the strictures of commerce *only*, with no other factors to be considered. I.e., if you are offering a product or service to the public in a public place of business, then *anyone* can enter your business and buy that product or service. Note that historically this concept is a relatively recent development birthed from the Civil Rights legislation of the ’60’s. (Indeed, it was precisely this issue that caused Goldwater to withdraw his support from the final Civil Rights Act; he thought private business owners should be able to decide with whom they would do business. Yes, this meant he thought business owners ought to be able to exclude blacks from their businesses. Seems crazy now, doesn’t it?)

    In the gay marriage bakery/photography cases we have an interesting variation on the public commerce question. I think with a little common sense it can be worked out reasonably amicably. Say you are a bakery owner (a public place of business); you offer a variety of off-the-shelf cakes (your products). You also offer a variety of standard services, e.g. a customer can select and combine certain cake and icing types, and standard decorative patterns as they see fit. I think we would all agree that *anybody* should be able to enter your public place of business and select from your off-the-shelf products or public service offerings. Well and good.

    Now, let’s say I enter your public place of business, peruse your offerings, decide against them, and approach you in an attempt to obtain something *not* on the menu. Let’s say I want you to bake me a cake with a big, black swastika, and the slogan, “Death to the Jews,” in blood-red icing, and I’m quite willing to pay whatever price you care to set. I’ve just solicited you to partake in a *private commercial transaction*, and one that you find personally repellent. You refuse to conduct this transaction at *any* price. Common sense would seem to dictate that you should have the *right* to do so. Even though your place of business is public, it’s a private transaction, and such transactions are traditionally subject to *mutual* consent.

    Similarly, let’s say I approach you to cater a cake for my private Nazi party (that’s a party attended by my Nazi friends, not the political party itself) to be held in my private Nazi dungeon. (Think Wolfenstein the computer game.) I’ve just solicited you to partake in a *private commercial transaction* at a private location outside your public place of business. Let’s further stipulate that you are a Jew, and feel that catering my party might actually be hazardous to your personal safety and well-being. You refuse to cater my Nazi party. Again, common sense would seem to dictate that you should have the *right* to refuse to do business with me (due to the private nature of the transaction).

    It’s worth noting that the Indiana Religious Freedom Law (http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/27/text-indianas-religious-freedom-law/70539772/) does not make any of the distinctions I’ve laid out. In fact, I think it’s too broadly defined, and will ultimately be struck down. In the long run we need to be very careful about distinguishing between public and private life. We must do our very best to ensure that the valid concerns of the former do not unduly impinge upon the precious liberties of the latter.

    • 1mime says:

      Excellent analysis and thought process, Tracy. I will study your Natzi cake example a little more and get back to you. I have never really thought about the matter under that scenario. Otherwise, I concur with your logical deductions. The tragedy of today’s America is that the vitriol is so intensely personal that people have really stopped making any attempt to understand another viewpoint and rarely have a civil opportunity to explore differences.

      Thanks for taking time to develop your beliefs in such a descriptive format. I find most people respond well to this type of sharing versus the pot shot/attack process. Dialogue still can work if people make the effort.

      • “The tragedy of today’s America is that the vitriol is so intensely personal that people have really stopped making any attempt to understand another viewpoint and rarely have a civil opportunity to explore differences.”

        Indeed, 1mime. It seems to me that both parties, though accidents of history, have ended up settling on certain political positions that are fundamentally hostile to liberty. Sadly, political partisanship often blinds us to the incongruities in the positions of the political parties we favor. This is unfortunate, because we Americans *love* liberty. We sense that something is deeply wrong, but seem unable to put our collective finger on it. We need to let the scales fall from our eyes, and remember what made our country great in the first place.

      • 1mime says:

        “We need to let the scales fall from our eyes”…

        This is why I enjoy this blog so much – for different viewpoints, especially when cogently presented. I will forever hold fast to my Democrat beliefs: woman’s rights to equal pay and choice, equality for all people irrespective of race, gender, sexuality, and the value and need for a strong central government that provides a viable safety net for its people. The devil, of course, is in the details. Having been small business owners, I can relate to the conservative viewpoint while being turned off by callousness and respect for ones employees. Like most taxpayers, I abhor waste and fraud while understanding it is impossible to render services to millions without this occurring. What I most dislike is the intrusion of the religious right into legislation that impacts my beliefs. And, I disdain the lack of focus by Congress on governing sensibly and in a bi-partisan manner.

        I don’t think I’m unreasonable but then, you might.

      • No, 1mime, I don’t think you’re being unreasonable at all, and I think that down deep most of us feel the same way.

        To paraphrase the thoughts of those far wiser than I (Locke, Jefferson), God creates us all as equals; being all of equal status in the eye of our Creator, we ought therefore to be free to live our lives as we choose and as we please, so long as we are responsible for, and prudent in, our actions, and willing to accept the consequences of those actions. Granted this freedom through divine providence, we should be equally solicitous of the same freedom for our neighbors, and never impinge upon our neighbors’ right to live as they choose. We should not be subject to coercion by others; nor should we subject others to coercion. It’s a philosophy of live and let live, fundamentally based on free association and the Golden Rule. Locke calls this the “Law of Reason,” and if all would but adopt it, there would be no need of government.

        Sadly, there are those who, for whatever reason, will not follow the law of reason, and instead seek advantage for themselves over their neighbors. (And in truth, we are each of us subject to some extent to this temptation. It’s what’s called original sin.) For this reason, and this reason only, we institute governments. To empower government to protect us from those who would take advantage, we cede to government the power of legitimate use of force. Therein lies the rub, for the same individuals from whom we seek protection are thus strongly motivated to subsume the power of government to themselves, so as to fully realize their goal of advantage over others.

        The Framers did their best to formulate a framework of government that would be resistant to the advances of the “advantage takers,” but it’s an imperfect vehicle at best, and it’s a constant struggle to keep the wheels on. We seek to strengthen government to better protect ourselves, and especially the least among us. But that very act of strengthening government also imperils us, and the very freedoms we seek to preserve. It’s a constant steering exercise, and the consequences of a wreck are terrible to contemplate.

        1mime, you abhor waste and fraud; you want equal treatment for all; you want to protect the weak; you despise those who abuse others; you don’t want others to intrude into your life in ways contrary to your beliefs through the coercive power of government.

        I feel *exactly* the same way and I want *exactly* the same things.

        Perhaps we’d all do well to keep that in mind whilst hashing out our differences.

      • 1mime says:

        Indeed, Tracy.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      TThor, I’m glad you qualified your response to note you’re for equality for all unequivocally and I presume your Nazi cake example is to play devil’s advocate and accept that at face value. And I respect that. As opposed to others here who attempt transparent disingenuous ethical and moral gymnastics justify to espousing discriminatory views and then to categorically claim they are not as if it were some moral get out of jail free pass for being a bigot.

      I think if you were to push it, the ACLU (those dang nasty liberals!) would represent and advocate for their right to a Nazi cake. They have previously supported the rights of neo-Nazis, KKK and far right extremists in the past on First Amendment grounds.

      However, it is not equivalent to denying service to gays, just for being gay. Presumably in your example, the neo-Nazi would not be tossed out on his ass if he/she were to order an off the shelf cake or even a customized one that didn’t include the swastikas.

      That is NOT what the religious extremists are advocating. The DO want to refuse service to any and all gays, just for the sole reason that they are gay. Not that they are requesting a purple cake or a rainbow festooned cake. And who’s to say even if they were to request such, how would that be any different from a Barney (purple dinosaur) cake or a My Little Pony cake?

      As for the “Death to the Jews” cake icing, that would easily and legally justifiably be declined based on its denigration and offensive/dangerous/deadly advocacy of murdering a minority ( or a particular religion) solely because of their irrational hatred and desire to do harm to said minority.

      And to that end, any Nazi symbolism (i.e. swastika on a cake) can be legally and correctly construed to be advocating discrimination and destruction of a minority ethnicity or religion (including Catholics which the Nazis also exterminated in the millions) just for being said minority or religion and for no other reason whatsoever.

      As for a “gay themed cake” (again that is not the issue but I will extend that hypothetical for the sake of argument/illustration), it can in no way, shape, or form be construed as advocating for the discrimination, destruction, or any negative untoward action toward anyone’s religion. No gay person is trying to destroy anyone’s religion by asking them to produce a cake they may find “icky” to borrow from Houston’s apt phraseology. Let me know when a gay themed cake is aggressively and boldly in your face anti any religion, destructive of any religion, or preventing a religious person from practicing their precious religion. Or impinging on any individual’s private right to his his/her religion.

      • 1mime says:

        Bubba, good response to TThor’s post. You are so correct in your comments and it is clear that when points are made responsibly and honestly as TThor did, we better understand one another and we can actually have a discussion! Heck, we frequently even agree (-:

        It’s hard for me to envision anyone who would ask for such a hateful message on a cake or someone who would be hateful to a gay person who asks for a cake. Both parties would be wrong, in my view. Tolerance – that word again – is missing in too many personal interactions.

        Thanks for your thoughtful effort to expand upon TThor’s post.

      • Bubba, we are actually in agreement. Yes, I substituted Nazis for gays for the sake of argument. (Let’s assume “nice” Nazi’s who aren’t actually going to hurt anybody, but who nonetheless adhere to views regarded as odious by the plurality.) Yes, in my example the “neo-Nazi would not be tossed out on his ass if he/she were to order an off the shelf cake or even a customized one that’s [customized with patterns offered to all].” As I wrote, the Indiana law is *too* broad and goes *too* far, and it potentially *could* be used to justify discrimination in a public setting based on private religious convictions.

        Basically, I’m trying to reasonably balance private and public concerns. When I’m out in public, I expect to be treated the same as anyone else, and expect that anyone else be treated the same as I. Race, creed, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, whatever – none of that should matter. Similarly, in private life, I expect to be free to act as my conscience dictates, so long as I do no harm to my neighbors. And the same goes for private interactions with my neighbors.

        The key here is clearly demarcating the line between public and private life/conduct. It’s actually a very tough line to define, and laws such as the Indiana law are a pretty good indication that thought around defining that line is sadly deficient.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      TT….just a few small quibbles.

      At least as we (for most of the country) have decided to define the situations, it would be perfectly legal to deny to bake a cake for Nazis. Heck, you could deny to back a cake to anyone wearing a red shirt.

      Nazis and folks wearing red are not generally protected groups in the US. At least here in Texas, one could open up a GOP Coffee Shop and Gun Range (The GOP Grind and Glock) open only to registered Republicans, and there would be no basis for a case against The Grind and Glock.

      However, let’s go with protection for political parties (NY, California, and DC have such things), your “icing on the cake” generally missed the point.

      As noted by the judge presiding of the case:

      “Respondents argue that if they are compelled to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, then a black baker could not refuse to make a cake bearing a white-supremacist message for a member of the Aryan Nation; and an Islamic baker could not refuse to make a cake denigrating the Koran for the Westboro Baptist Church.

      However, neither of these fanciful hypothetical situations proves Respondents’ point. In both cases, it is the explicit, unmistakable, offensive message that the bakers are asked to put on the cake that gives rise to the bakers’ free speech right to refuse. That, however, is not the case here, where Respondents refused to bake any cake for Complainants regardless of what was written on it or what it looked like.”

      The ACLU, who would actually love to jump to the defense of the Nazi cake lover notes, “there’s no law that says that a cake-maker has to write obscenities in the cake just because the customer wants it,” which would probably get to some free speech issue.

      The other quibble might be that a wedding photographer would always fall under the category of a private business transaction.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        While Mill was not always right, he hit a few things well:

        “Like other tyrannies, the tyranny of the majority was at first, and is still vulgarly, held in dread, chiefly as operating through the acts of the public authorities. But reflecting persons perceived that when society is itself the tyrant — society collectively, over the separate individuals who compose it — its means of tyrannizing are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries.

        Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.

        Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent the formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own.

        There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence; and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism.”

        Examples of Nazi cakes aside, laws such as the ones in Indiana are the people in the majority attempting to maintain the tyranny of the majority through the tyranny of the magistrate.

      • HH, thank you for the thoughtful comments. I wasn’t really trying to delineate between protected vs. non-protected groups in my Nazi example. Rather, I tried to come up with a group that is reviled by just about everybody in the same sense that the GLBT community is reviled by fundamentalist Christians. In other words: OK, I really don’t like you; under what conditions must I do business with you?

        Title II of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination of protected groups in “public accommodations,” which includes public places of business. In making my distinctions, I, in effect, exempted private transactions conducted in public accommodations and private transactions conducted in non-public accommodations from the Title II discrimination prohibitions. Again, really just trying to draw the line between public and private.

      • 1mime says:

        More red states following IN with religious freedom bills….

        The Weekly Sift:

        Georgia has a similar “religious freedom” bill pending. A few days ago, opponents thought they had it blocked by attaching an amendment that takes the bill’s supporters at their word.

        As in Indiana, proponents of Georgia’s bill have tried to argue that it has nothing to do with discrimination. Rep. Mike Jacobs, an LGBT-friendly Republican, decided to test this theory by introducing an amendment that would not allow claims of religious liberty to be used to circumvent state and local nondiscrimination protections. Supporters of the bill, like Rep. Barry Fleming (R), countered that the amendment “will gut the bill.”

        So it’s not about discrimination, but taking discrimination out of the law “guts” it.”

        So, there you have it. In plain sight. The REAL meaning of religious freedom, GOP style.

      • 1mime says:

        I, in effect, exempted private transactions conducted in public accommodations and private transactions conducted in non-public accommodations from the Title II discrimination prohibitions. Again, really just trying to draw the line between public and private.

        Is that reality, Tracy? Or, is it case by case, opposed by some, tolerated by others, ignored by many? Is the law clear on these matters? Or, is it like Georgia’s Religious Freedom Law – gutted when you clarify non-discrimination compliance?

    • Creigh says:

      The anti-discrimination laws as far as I know all specify protected categories: race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. None of them protect Nazis, Democrats, Republicans, bald people, people with piercings, etc. Businesses are perfectly free to discriminate against people without shirts, people who are being disruptive, people who are ugly, people who might misuse their products, or people they just don’t feel like serving, as long as it isn’t because of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Heck, the anti-discrimination laws can’t even prevent a business from putting a sign in the window saying ‘God hates gays.’

      But I agree with you, Tracy, that the Indiana law will be challenged and overturned, probably pretty quickly.

    • flypusher says:

      That’s an interesting thought exercise Tracy, but there’s something important not mentioned. The reaction of loathing to Nazis and their symbols is rational and based on something that is documented- that the Nazis committed a widespread and systemized mass murder that targeted Jews, and other groups they deemed inferior. The negative reaction to gays we discuss here is ultimately rooted in an ancient cultural prejudice, and also the faulty assumptions that sexual orientation is a choice and that gayness is contagious. If a religious belief, no matter how sincerely held, comes into conflict with reality, reality needs to win out when laws/ policies are made.

      • RobA says:

        “If a religious belief, no matter how sincerely held, comes into conflict with reality, reality needs to win out when laws/ policies are made”

        That’s really the crux of it right there.

        No, your religion does not give you the right to do whatever you want, as long as it’s a belief that’s “sincerely held”.

        Not to mention, how is not serving gays a Christian belief at all? Yes, it clearly states in Leviticus that homosexuality is not ok. It also says that eating shellfish is an abonation, you should never mix fabrics, that any woman NOT a virgin on her wedding night should be out to death, and that slaves must obey their masters, explicitly endorsing slavery.

        So obviously not all things in Leviticus are considered sacred. So why is homophobia singled out as a “religious belief”?

        My guess is its not really anything to do with a religious belief at all. It’s more to do with the traditional conservative belief that anything that is not like me is inferior to me.

        and “conservative” isn’t a religious concept, it’s a political concept. The two are incredibly connected and intertwined, but they are fundamentally different things.

        So really, what this law is allowing is discrimination based on political beliefs, not religious ones. And that is completely unacceptable in America in 2015.

    • flypusher says:

      Speaking of controversy over offensive baked goods:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3014316/Racist-cupcakes-banned-French-pastry-shop-Court-orders-removal-dark-chocolate-figures-pink-lips.html

      WARNING if you scroll down- the pictures will be offensive to many and very NSFW.

    • vikinghou says:

      Wow, I think this is one of the best discussions I’ve seen on this board! Most of the salient points have already been covered. However….

      In my opinion the current Conservative interpretations of “religious liberty/freedom” are gross mischaracterizations of that critical part of American society. The Framers intended it to mean the ability to practice one’s faith, without fear of any negative repercussions from the state. It’s all about how one expresses their personal faith, if they have one. It is not now, and never should be about taking one’s religious dogma and using it to affect the lives of others. Never. It is simply the ability to be left alone while worshiping within a group. One cannot victimize someone or some group and then claim to be the victim.

      Secondly, as all business must be in a contractual and regulatory relationship with the state in which they are located, legislating this way creates state sponsored discrimination. These people want to utilize the resources and protection of the state to run their businesses, but also want to turn around and discriminate. They can’t have it both ways, and these state legislators should know better. We must not allow for the hijacking of what religious freedom actually means.

  7. Turtles Run says:

    WND columnist and all-around jerk Joseph Farah has spent the past few years leading the birther movement. He has claimed President Obama was not eligible to be POTUS because of 1) He was born in Kenya and 2) both of his parents were not born in the United States. Now that Ted Cruz has announced that he is running for the GOP nomination Joseph Farah is as giddy as a 12 year old school girl. It seems that Cruz actually being born in a foreign country to only one naturalized citizen does not matter now. The hypocrisy of the right wing is simply incredible.

    Where was Obama born?
    http://www.wnd .com/2008/11/81964/

    TED CRUZ’S ELECTRIFYING SPEECH
    http://www.wnd.com/2015/03/ted-cruzs-electrifying-speech/

    • flypusher says:

      The citizenship brouhahas for Obama, McCain, and Cruz were and are pure BS. But yeah, there’s a big steaming pile of hypocrisy to go with it.

    • RobA says:

      Wow. went to check out the comments section of those links and I Co firmed the existence of that rare, thought to be mythical creature: people to th right of Ted Cruz.

      There are actually people opposing his presidency because he’s an NWO, “rockefeller” republican.

      • 1mime says:

        Cruz a “Rockerfeller” Republican?

        Not even close. What is hopeful is generational change in which family members – spouses, children, a lot of grandchildren – challenge stereotypical thinking on long held traditional beliefs. In this Houston Chronicle article by Felix Kramer, we learn about a significant change within the Rockefeller family business philosophy. It gives us “global warmers” hope that reason will emerge – one day – hopefully not too late for our grandchildren. The article offers other interesting examples but since Rockefeller was mentioned and since politics and business and the fossil fuel industry are so intertwined, the article is pertinent. In case the link below doesn’t open, here’s a snippet:

        “Picture a day when the world’s most-watched video features a senior oil executive on a stage with his family at one of the popular TED community-conversation events, saying, “For years, my kids have told me the work I do threatens their futures. I didn’t pay much attention. Now I realize they’re right. I see the long-term danger of overloading our air with carbon dioxide. Most of our underground reserves can’t ever be used. I want to stay at my company and help find a way out.”

        How might that moment arrive?

        Last year we got a preview, when the Rockefeller family stunned the media and markets by announcing it will sell all its investments in coal and tar sands. Rockefeller Brothers Fund President Steven Heintz invoked the family’s moral responsibility, then summoned up founding father John D., saying, “I’m convinced that if he were alive today – he was an innovative, forward-looking businessman – he would recognize that the opportunity in the future is clean energy technology, and he’d be leading the business charge to get us to that economy.”

        http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Kramer-Industry-leaders-need-to-get-an-earful-6164040.php

  8. texan5142 says:

    “Texan, yes, I am a fan. I doubt that he has much of a chance, but I am so tired of wishy-washy, lying, sneaky, and unethical politicians. I like Cruz’s direct style. I would vote for him over another candidate even if I differ on some points.”

    So you are a fan of Cruz because “I like Cruz’s direct style”. You do realize that ” but I am so tired of wishy-washy, lying, sneaky, and unethical politicians” describes Cruz to a tee don’t you?

    http://www.politifact.com/personalities/ted-cruz/statements/

    http://www.politicususa.com/2015/03/24/ted-cruz-earns-big-false-official-fact-check-2016.html

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/202313/ted-cruzs-trouble-truth-his-biggest-liability

  9. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Maybe a trend:

    From the NCAA, with offices in Indianapolis and the Men’s Final Four there this year and the women’s Final Four there next year:

    NCAA President Mark Emmert released this statement:

    “The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events. We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees. We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”

    Too late to do anything about it for this year’s Final Four, but if you are having to give even a moment’s thought to whether your employees or players might get refused service in a restaurant because they are gay, you are going to change your plans.

    The NFL pushed against a similar bill in Arizona and even grumbled about moving the Super Bowl. The NFL has stronger ties (i.e., more money) in Indiana, so maybe they won’t come out as strongly here, but I would be surprised if you don’t here something from the NFL as well.

    • flypusher says:

      So maybe we’ll see an update of this?

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TlMdYpnVOGQ

    • 1mime says:

      “NFL pushed against a similar bill in AZ…”

      To her credit, then governor Jan Brewer (the finger in the Prez’ face Brewer) vetoed a similar Religious Freedom Bill passed by the AZ Legislature. There are similar bills being proposed in other red states. It’s the “laundry list” process the GOP uses – from “stand your ground” to the abortion rights legislation, and so on. Then there are the “talking points” spouted by Republican members of Congress….

      Don’t any of these people dare have an original thought? Sure, and if and when they do, they are primaried. Nice group of people to have your back, right?

      • GG says:

        AZ has become the Florida of the West. I just got this emailed to me. Yes, mandatory church attendance.

        http://www.azcentral.com/videos/news/12-news/2015/03/26/70497738/

      • flypusher says:

        She’s not totally off the deep end- she does acknowledge that mandatory church attendance would be a nogo. And that’s as it should be if we’re going to keep this 1st Amendment thing.

      • 1mime says:

        “She’s not totally off the deep end….”

        Can you believe we’re even having to deal with crazies who advocate for mandatory church attendance? Geez.

        The hate debate over gays and others will never end. There are simply too many emboldened, irrational people who are irrationally compelled and encouraged in their god-inspired pronouncements.

        Run for cover….(-:

  10. easyfortytwo says:

    No need to overthink it; these laws are morally and economically boneheaded. Would the same laws be used to allow a Muslim-owned business to refuse service to an unescorted woman, or a Mormon business to deny service to “Mark-of-Cain” blacks? These laws do nothing to protect religious freedom, and are, in fact, meant to discourage it. They are WASP/Catholic shorthand for “You can have your Model T any color you want, as long as that color is black.”

    And, again, as a member of a tiny minority Protestant denomination, I see legally sanctioned discrimination against gay people as an affront to my religious beliefs.

  11. flypusher says:

    Another flaw I see in the religious arguments that homosexuality is immoral-that a lot of people cite scripture as if it originated in some Divine vacuum, rather than being written by humans who were influenced by their culture. The culture of the ancient Hebrews frowned pretty heavily on gayness. So it’s no shock that those attitudes would be reflected in their religious/ legal/ philosophical texts. Other cultures from that time had different attitudes. Ancient Greek culture had just as much (if not more) influence on contemporary Western culture as did the Hebrews. So what logical basis is there to pick Hebrew views over Greek views here?

    • RobA says:

      Because the Bible came out of Hebrew culture and religioous wingnuts think the Bible is the actual, literal, infallible word of God.

      They ACTUALLY think the universe was created in 7 days. That Nebechenezzer (spelling?) ACTUALLY threw Shadrach, Meshack, and Abendigo in a massive fire where they chilled out with Jesus for a bit and then walked out unscathed. They ACTUALLY believe that God actually told a dude to go to Ninevah, and when he didn’t cause he was scared and took a boat to flee, God sent a storm that sank the boat, and sent a large fish to swallow Jonah, where he could hang out in the fishes belly for three days while he thought about what he did. When he realized that he was wrong to run away, God had the fish spit Jonah back up on land……right next to Ninevah, no less. They actually, literally think these stories happened. And most of them think they happened in the last few thousand years.

      They ACTUALLY think that the world a few thousand years ago was a magical, Narnia type world, where the dead rose, water was turned into wine, snakes talked, Joshua could make the Sun stop moving while his army fought the Canaanites, burning bushes spoke, and men strong enough to pull down huge temples with their bare hands were rendered impotent with the cutting of their hair.

      For some reason, God decided about 1500 years ago, that the magical times were to come to an end, and the world should behave again according to the laws of physics and nature. No word on the change of heart,

      There’s a reason religion is taught hard and fast at a young age. Because if they told us these things as fact when we were older then 13, we’d laugh them out of town. And rightfully so.

      • RobA says:

        And lots of them use logic that is so twisted it would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad. The Church I grew up in, for example, when asked about dinosaur bones (Noah clearly did NOT bring T Rexs on the ark with him, even though the Bible clearly states it was two of eery animal) told us that dinosaurs never really existed. Instead, Satan put the fossils there in order to sway our faith.

        These are sane, adult, otherwise normal human beings. I long for the day when humans can look back on religion and say with amusement “lol, so WTF was that all about anyways?” the same way we do now about so many other things that seem ridiculous now.

        the sooner the better.

      • flypusher says:

        “For some reason, God decided about 1500 years ago, that the magical times were to come to an end, and the world should behave again according to the laws of physics and nature. No word on the change of heart,”

        That puts me in mind of one of those awkward (for the adults) observations I made as a young child, that God sure did a lot more talking to people way back when.

      • flypusher says:

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6xbuFLFfD4k

        Unfortunately does not include “What about a robot with a human brain?”

      • RobA says:

        The reason religion is on it’s way out is not because of some “liberal agenda” or anyone “persecuting religion” or anything nearly so nefarious. It’s the natural development of the incredible amounts of information we have now.

        For example, I was reading a website devoted to “Christian answers” and such. They explained that of course it was possible. After all, it says, there’s about 1 million species on Earth. Most of them are water, so they’re excluded. And maybe he didn’t bring EVERY species, just broad based specie. Such as, two “big cats” and that took care of the “big cat” category (no word on how how all the diversity currently exists for “big cats”. Perhaps really, really fast evolution. So see, religous people believe in scientifcally sound ideas like evolution. Their only beef is evolution happens much much faster then science thinks is possiible. THAT”S where the confusion is coming from. After jumping through all these logical hoops (yes, dinosaurs were on the ark. but only baby ones. Seriously.) they finally come to the conclusion that Noah only needed around 5-10,000 animals, which was clearly possible. So, it’s fact.

        I bring up this example though, because even if the conclusions and assumptions needed to arrive at that number WEREN’T patently ridiculous, all of it’s based on the number of “one million” species on Earth. In the past, we would just accept that number. After all, most of us aren’t biologists or academics. We’d just take their word for it. Of course, a simple google search shows that the current number that is accepted as fact by all people who actually study these things is that it’s no less then 10 million currently……and that 99% of all species who have ever existed are extinct.

        So, Noah somehow had to fit at least two billion animals on board (one paid of at least one billion species) which of course completely obliterates any literal Bible interpretation. The Bible is very clear about the actual size of the ark so we don’t need to guess. Of course, knowing what we know now about how may species there were, even if there was no wiggle room, the ark would have to have been about the size of Rhode Island.

        I use this as just one example. The crap that religion feeds us is now verifiable for the first time ever. And THAT, more then anything else, is what’s causing the rapid secularization of society.

        As they say, you can fool some people all of the time. And you can fool all thhe people some of the time. But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. The whole “act as we say, or you’re going to be tormented for eternity. Oh, and give us 10% of your income because even though God is all powerful, he still needs hard cash.” (makes sense, actually. I assume most of God’s assets are not very liquid. Prob lots of long term bonds and long dated options. He needs the cash to fund operations) only flies as long as people don’t have the ability to check on the veracity of the things you say to justify such a position.

        Once that happened (and it did within the past few decades) the fate of religion was sealed. The plug is pulled out of the tub. Now all we need to do is wait for the water to drain.

      • 1mime says:

        the problem with religion……Add to all you listed, advanced civilization whereby people actually hear more than one point of view (though it’s getting harder with the majority of airwaves controlled by the right), and have the benefit of enough education to rationally challenge the more absurd beliefs out there. Even though my personal beliefs (do unto others…..works for me) fall outside the traditional religious strictures, I respect the choice (even as I may disagree) of those who profess to be atheists, Jewish, Hindu, agnostics, wing nut fundamentalists, whatever…..Tolerance, in its purist form, should cut both ways. Today, it is not, and those espousing fundamentalist views are not content with practicing their faith without imposing it on others.

        THAT is the problem. Tolerance implies acceptance which implies inclusion which implies equality and freedom of thought. Gay bashing? Gone. Racism, gone. Obviously, America is suffering through some strange, difficult times. Hopefully, one day soon, rational thought and true, practiced tolerance will be the norm and this painful, ugly time merely an historical footnote.

      • RobA says:

        Here’s that link, if you’re up for a laugh

        http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-c013.html

      • Crogged says:

        Game of Thrones without the naked pretty people, yuck………

      • 1mime says:

        speaking of “laughs”, OT but fun cartoon speaking to equal pay issue in yesterday’s H. Chronicle, Goes like this:

        (woman asking male boss) “As a small step towards gender equality, would you consider putting a woman on the $20 bill?

        (male boss’ response) “Sure, but it would be worth only $15.40”

        (- : (-: Gotta keep one’s sense of humor, right?!

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Fly, I think about the people who wrote the bible often, their act of writing, the act of writing.

      Several years ago, I spent a couple of months focused on writing fiction. There I was, at my desk, immersed in story but not knowing how the story was going to play out. Sometimes, out of nowhere it seemed, my mind would create the next step in the story and it delighted me. It was 100% engaging. It felt like creativity was some kind of mysterious, invisible network I had tapped into. In fact, it felt divine.

      I wonder if the bible writers felt that way, immersed in their story, feeling so confident their connection to Creativity is correct and strong.

      Follow all that with translators who were similarly sure of their connection to god and it’s no wonder we have the mess we have.

  12. All of these so-called Religious Freedom bills are an attempt to thwart what they see as a big SCOTUS decision coming on marriage equality. The states with a heavy religious influence will do everything within their power to try and roll back the clock. The speed at which this issue gained majority approval caught them completely off-guard; otherwise, I’m sure they’d have a better strategy in mind.

    As long as Republicans control so many states, they’ll start passing laws to chip away at LGBT freedoms much as they have with reproductive rights (with success I might add). In the end, what they may find is that only the poorest of citizens who cannot easily pick up and move will be living there as younger (and older) tech-savvy people who have better job opportunities, pick up and leave for the blue bastions of tolerance and higher taxes.

    In the meantime, the country will continue to move away from them. Nones / atheists will become a plurality along with minorities and, much like a death, they’ll have to go to the last of the five phases: acceptance.

  13. 1mime says:

    Ob: Am I saying that religious people should closet their views?

    NO. I am saying that true faith is deeply personal and the “practice of, i.e., religious structure/church” should be within these parameters not applied to business or in politics. Do these people have a right to run for office and to publicly promote their beliefs? Certainly, but the line is drawn between personal profession and public legislation. There is a deeply held belief by fundamentalists that their beliefs are the only beliefs and that all people should abide by them. Tolerance? Not in the fundamentalist manual.

    We disagree on separation of church and state and basic human rights and equality in the workplace – and, in the broader world. It’s sad that this even has to be explained, but I guess that’s a big part of the problem.

    As for whether or not gays should remain in the closet, that’s a stupid question. Should homosexuals respect others and act appropriately? A resounding YES. Should gay business owners deny services to the public who comes to them? NO. Are businesses (Salesforce) being discriminatory when they choose to enter/leave a market that they find unwelcoming – for whatever reason – yes, but only in where they choose to offer their services, not “who” they offer them to. Even a cursory historical review of gay treatment demonstrates the lopsided mistreatment they have received by mankind. I’m not proud of that, I don’t agree with that, and I find your arguments superficial even as you have a right to them. Do what you want but don’t legislate your beliefs to control my life.

    You’re having fun with this, Ob, but for me this is deadly serious. It may be “just the internet”, as Doug commented, but I find the majority of commentators on Lifer’s site to be deeply thoughtful, serious people who try to inform rather than play around with serious issues. Substance, even when it differs from my own views, is appreciated. Arguing for the sake of arguing, does not.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Thank you 1mime. You put it in quite polite terms that OV is nothing more than a disgusting immature troll (as she has openly admitted herself) and relishes throwing poop on a legitimate debate/discussion. But that only reflects on her shortcomings as she demonstrates that is all she has in her intellectual arsenal.

  14. johngalt says:

    I miss the civility of things best left unstated.
    Gay couple: “We’d like to talk to you about photographing our wedding.”
    Photographer with cross necklace: “Well, I don’t know, I’m pretty booked up.”
    Gay couple: “Well, we haven’t picked a date yet.”
    Photographer: “The thing is, I’m really booked up, if you know what I mean.”
    Gay couple: “Ah, we see.” Exchange disapproving look. “We’ll go elsewhere.”

    Why would you need a law to regulate this conversation, unless you simply wanted to be an ass about it?

    And, on the other side, this always seems to be framed in the context of a gay wedding. Seriously, it’s your wedding. Do you really want it photographed (or catered) by someone who is being compelled to be there? What are the chances they’ll do a good job?

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      In Houston…probably not. In a small town with one reception hall (’cause you can’t have it at a church) or a moderately sized town with only one nice (or one inexpensive) reception hall or only two florists in town? Maybe so.

      I am sure that I give my dollars to any number of business owners who do not like fornicators, divorced people, atheists, or middle-aged plump white dudes, but you know what, no one gives me any grief about it and no one turns down my dollars.

      Gay people, however, evidently need to cater to the odd whims of some really stupid people.

      Why would a Black person want to eat in a restaurant that doesn’t want them there? The back of the bus gets to the destination less than a second after the front of the bus, so what is the problem?

      • Crogged says:

        I tried to make this argument and realized I was wrong, probably because as a big city dweller there are always options to walk on the wild side of photographers and bakers. Sometimes the law has to protect us from the religious, saving the proverbial sacrificial lamb and the real bleating, innocent, lamb.

      • johngalt says:

        Yes, I get all this and it’s not an apology for intolerance. But do you really want your first kiss photographed by someone with their eyes closed because they think it’s disgusting/immoral/icky?

      • Crogged says:

        if it’s me it’s probably considered ‘icky’…….but I hear you and think you cover most situations. Most people don’t pursue conflict in the 3d real world..but online……

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Awww…that is so sweet JG….your first kiss was at your wedding.

        You were in for lots o’ learnin’ that night.

      • 1mime says:

        The back of the bus gets to the destination less than a second after the front….so, what is the problem?

        Not having the choice to sit where one wants. Not having the choice to eat where one wants. A recent non-fiction book on the exodus of southern blacks to points north and west, talked about the very real problems black people experienced along the way. Motels that wouldn’t take them so they had to sleep in their cars. Gas stations that refused bathroom access, so they had to pee roadside. Restaurants that wouldn’t allow entrance so they had to bring plenty of food in the car not knowing when or if they would be allowed to enter a roadside eatery.

        It was a compelling account of conditions that existed in America broadly into the late sixties and beyond less frequently with the advent of Civil Rights. I’m sure there are still places in our country that are frightening for Black people to travel through, not to speak of, live in.

      • 1mime says:

        BTW, the book I referred to about the Black migration from the south is: “Warmth of Other Suns”,The Epic Story of Americas Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson. She was the grand daughter of Black migrants and spent ten years interviewing and researching the topic. It’s a powerful history of a very hard time for Blacks who felt they had to flee the South – frequently at great personal risk and with nothing but their clothes on their backs.

    • RobA says:

      John, there are many implications of this that go beyond gay weddings. A police officer could refuse to work the pride parade. What if someone was hurt because of lack of police presence?

      An emt could have a legal case by refusing to work on a Muslim, or homosexual.

      In any case, even if it is just a “frivolous” thing like a wedding cake, the point is, when a business is open to the public, they have certain responsibilities that go with that.

      That business is protected by police and the fire department etc. They are going to use the roads to get product in and out. They are supported by taxpayer funded money in some ways (as all businesses are) and EVERY patron they have (even the gays) are taxpayers, and so are paying the money that allows these businesses to exist. And every patron has the right to enter a business open to the PUBLIC and expect to be safe, and served.

      That’s just how this country works. And most people feel that way, and laws like this are simply on the wrong side of history.

    • vikinghou says:

      Let’s be honest. Most of the vendors opposed to gay weddings probably aren’t fabulous enough for the job! 😉

      • 1mime says:

        You know what I have a difficult time understanding? The Log Cabin Republicans. How can they square sexual intolerance of the Republican Party?

      • vikinghou says:

        I don’t understand them either 1mime. Their standard answer is that, except for the anti-gay platform, they are aligned with the GOP’s political views. They say they’re trying to change the party’s stance on gay rights from within.

      • 1mime says:

        Log Cabin trying to change the GOP views from within……..

        Good luck with that. That means they are ok with all the other discriminatory practices of Republicans? Religion? Racism? Women’s issues? Equal pay? Boy, that’s selective association.

  15. johngalt says:

    Interesting comparison: metro Houston has a gross regional product larger than all but 8 states. With the exception of Texas, each of those states voted for Obama in 2012.

    • Crogged says:

      And where would this GRP be without NASA? Even the energy companies benefited from this wasteful government boondoggle, I mean, pure research boondoggle,

  16. texan5142 says:

    Serious question objv, are you really a fan of Cruz, and if so, what has he done beside obstruct that makes you a fan?

    • texan5142 says:

      I keep posting this because I would appreciate an answer from objv.

      • johngalt says:

        I don’t think you’re going to get one, because she has been trolling, knowing that it would get a rise out of people (and she was clearly right).

      • objv says:

        Texan: I replied, but you must not have noticed. Go back to where Mime, you and I were interacting and where you first asked the question, and you’ll find my reply.

        My husband and I are taking a little weekend vacation so I don’t know if I’ll be able to make further comments today. I’ll have to see what the internet connection is like at the hotel we’re staying at. I really want to reply to some of the comments below.

        If worse come to worse, I’ll have to type on my phone’s tiny keyboard. I haven’t had to resort to that yet. I have standards, you know. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        I replied…..

        If you did, I didn’t see it either.

      • objv says:

        Hey, JG. I did reply. Thanks again for letting me know about 23andMe. I got the first set of results about my maternal line yesterday. My mom’s haplogroup seems to be most concentrated in Scandinavia. It is also prevalent along the northern rim of Europe where my mom’s ancestors came from.

        Like you, I am also part Neanderthal (2.9%). After all the times I’ve been called a “knuckle-dragging Neanderthal”. I see that there is some validity to that claim. 🙂

        Anyways, I really have to go My husband wants to hit the road as soon as possible.

      • rightonrush says:

        If anyone finds objv reply to Tex please post it. I’ve looked but can’t find it.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Her “response” in the last blog was to post a verbatim Wiki cut and past of his “accomplishments”.

        Proving she is unable to articulate in her own words why she is in love with a jerk. But we all know why. Cruz is nothing more than a political troll who managed to get elected in the home bastion state of wingnut trolls. Birds of a feather you know.

      • easyfortytwo says:

        Found it:

        “objv says:
        March 26, 2015 at 9:37 am

        Texan, yes, I am a fan. I doubt that he has much of a chance, but I am so tired of wishy-washy, lying, sneaky, and unethical politicians. I like Cruz’s direct style. I would vote for him over another candidate even if I differ on some points.

        From wikil:

        “Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz (born December 22, 1970) is the junior United States Senator from Texas. Elected in 2012 as a Republican, he is the first Hispanic or Cuban American to serve as a U.S. Senator from Texas.[3][2][4] He is the chairman of the subcommittee on the Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.[5] He is also the chairman of the subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee.”

        Between 1999 and 2003, Cruz served as the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, an associate deputy attorney general at the United States Department of Justice, and as domestic policy advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. He served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to May 2008…

        Appointed to the office of Solicitor General of Texas by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott,[7][49] Cruz served in that position from 2003 to 2008.[10][28] The office had been established in 1999 to handle appeals involving the state, but Abbott hired Cruz with the idea that Cruz would take a “leadership role in the United States in articulating a vision of strict construction.” As Solicitor General, Cruz argued before the Supreme Court nine times, winning five cases and losing four.[46]

        Cruz has authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court.[7][20][31] Cruz’s record of having argued before the Supreme Court nine times is more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress.[50] Cruz has commented on his nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Cruz

        I wish that Cruz would have more experience as a senator or in an executive position, but then again, Obama had little experience as well. (Look where that go us.)”

      • rightonrush says:

        “Texan, yes, I am a fan. I doubt that he has much of a chance, but I am so tired of wishy-washy, lying, sneaky, and unethical politicians”

        LOL, under the meaning of wishy-washy, lying, sneaking, and unethical politician should be a poster of Cruz.

    • Crogged says:

      Because ‘actions’ and ‘beliefs’ are separate events. Recall all the pop psychology speculation in the Christianist press about Obama and his father. His father is a radical-Obama is a radical. One can make a syllogism with completely wrong premises, we all do it. Cruz was raised in the belly of Christianists, his father is a shaman of right wing Christianists and he believes as his father. America is ‘exceptional’, the founding fathers were Baptists who didn’t dance and the Bible book of ‘Revelations’ can be objectively understood as ‘fact’. Except from my premise, I’m wrong, Mr. Cruz is just his own man and none of those things influence him. No worries.

  17. rightonrush says:

    Barry M. Goldwater
    “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

  18. Cpl. Cam says:

    ” in this case, making religious people “keep it to themselves” is just like telling gays and lesbians to “keep it to themselves.” Are you saying the religious should stay in the closet?”

    This sounds like a false equivalency to me. Telling gays to “keep it to themselves” means literally that. Stay in the closet. Don’t let on that you are gay. No PDAs, don’t even mention your partner by gender. “Keep it to yourself” in reference to the Christian community just means don’t try to legislate you’re religious beliefs onto the rest of us. We know Christians are the majority in this country anyway luckily there seems to be a silent majority of them that aren’t intolerant assholes.

  19. flypusher says:

    Speaking of religious beliefs, Phil Robertson has deigned to grace us all with his insight again:

    http://now.snopes.com/2015/03/26/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson-atheist-rape/

    Obviously his basic premise, that lack of belief is equivalent to lack of any moral compas, is fatally flawed. I’d ask him to riddle me this- who is truly the more moral person, the one who says “I’m not going to rape/ kill/ torture other people, because I don’t want to get punished for it”, or the one who says “I’m not going to rape/ kill/ torture other people, because I have empathy for my fellow humans, and I wouldn’t do to them something that I wouldn’t want done to me.”?

    • Cpl. Cam says:

      I’d just ask him to point to the commandment that says “thou shall not rape!” Whoops, guess we just figured out why so many republicans seem to think it’s just hunkey-dorey…

  20. flypusher says:

    If the desire to not serve “those people” is so bloody important that it overrides good business sense (and good business sense sez that Gay $ or Black $ or Muslim $ spends just the same as straight White Christian $), you have an escape hatch. It’s called the private club option.

  21. RobA says:

    Brownback taking $50 million from the school to make ends meet.

    Doesnnt even consider maybe, ya know……raising f’ing taxes?!

    And the business community “applauds”? They applaud cutting education to pay for their failed right wing trickle down utopia project?

    I have no words. …..

    http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/03/26/4447283/brownback-signs-school-funding.html

  22. way2gosassy says:

    Good for Salesforce! I hope others follow suit. I wonder how Gov. Pence squares this with his religious cohorts.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/indiana-hit-worst-hiv-outbreak-state-history/story?id=29921662

    They can’t blame this on gay’s.

  23. RobA says:

    From that article:

    “Leaders of Disciples of Christ, a 400,000-person denomination based in Indianapolis, also said the bill could affect future commitments.

    “We are particularly distressed at the thought that, should (the bill) be signed into law, some of our members and friends might not be welcome in Indiana businesses — might experience legally sanctioned bias and rejection once so common on the basis of race,” they said in the letter.”

    When a Mid Western church is telling you to cool it with the gay bashing, it’s time to move on fellas. There’s plenty of hate to go around.

  24. Webb says:

    The GOP constantly talks about being pro-business and being business-friendly, but then spends most of their legislative time spitting out bills and laws to enforce bigotry. What a waste of time. And these arguments about state rights and religious freedom are *exactly* the same arguments used against the civil rights movement and interracial marriage. I’m sick and tired of it.

    • RobA says:

      Didn’t you know? It’s not about bigotry or racism or sexism etc. It’s about FREEDOM and RIGHTS.

      For example, I should have the FREEDOM to own another person and steal a lifetimes worth of labour from him (as long as I pay for him fair and square). I should have the RIGHT to not serve the interacial couple that just walked in my restaurant, because everyone know that ain’t right. I have no problem with The Blacks, as long as they know their place and don’t date white wimmin.

      See? It’s all about rights and freedoms. That’s the stuff ‘Murica was built on
      !

      Freedom. Not racism. And if you call my racism racist, that means YOU’RE the racist!

  25. objv says:

    Let me see if I get this straight (no pun intended)…. Salesforce.com is going to refuse services to all the people in the state of Indiana because they think a few wedding photographers, caterers and bakers may decide to decline services for gay/lesbian weddings for religious reasons.

    Isn’t Salesforce.com itself being discriminatory?

    • Turtles Run says:

      No, being an asshole an acquired characteristic versus homosexuality that is an innate characteristic. See the difference.

      By your comments do you believe a person should allowed to discriminate against people because of innate characteristics of a certain group due to religious beliefs?

    • RobA says:

      There’s a difference between “refusing service” because you’re not even operating in that jurisdiction and “refusing service” by refusing to serve a person that you would normally otherwise serve for the sole reason that you disagree with their lifestyle.

      The former isn’t really “refusing service”, of course, no more then the MGM Grand is “refusing” my service….MGM isn’t serving me because they disapprove of my lifestyle. They’re not serving me because they are 1000 miles away from me.

      If salesforce.com chooses not to do business in Indiana, there will be no customers to “refuse servvice” too.

    • 1mime says:

      Isn’t Salesforce itself being discriminatory? Let’s see: SF is a private business; it can choose where it wants to do business; it values its employees who, in turn, choose not to work in situations where discrimination is practiced…..i.e., IN. It’s a business decision rooted in one’s core beliefs. They choose not to locate in areas that pass laws that don’t treat people equally.

      • objv says:

        Mime, as you say, Salesforce.com, is a private business which is making a decision to deny services based on their “core beliefs.”

        The photographers and bakers are also private businesses which are making decisions to deny services based on their religious “core beliefs.”

        I would say that one business has as much right to provide or decline services as another business. Salesforce is discriminating based on religious orientation; some Illinois businesses based on sexual orientation.

      • 1mime says:

        One business has as much right as another to provide services….

        The difference, OB, is that Salesforce declined to enter a market at all which it found to treat people unequally; whereas, bakers and florists that set up business in a location expressly to sell to the public have no right to turn away customers based upon anything other than willingness and ability to pay for goods. They are not private clubs, if they were, they could deny service to whoever they pleased. Once a business sets up in a public sphere, they should not discriminate. You may not see the difference, but, I do, and so does Salesforce.

      • objv says:

        Mime, Salesforce curtailing operations in Indiana. It is not entering the market; it is already present in the state.

        Of course, the bakers and photographers could close their businesses. (Salesforce will still do business in other states.) But, wouldn’t it be heartless to make small business owners chose between running a business or upholding their religious convictions? If the goal is to promote tolerance and equality, shouldn’t people have the freedom to practice their religion?

        I realize that the rights of both parties are competing, but surely there is enough compassion to make allowances for people who hold religious beliefs.

      • 1mime says:

        “wouldn’t it be heartless to make small business owners chose between running a business or upholding their religious convictions? If the goal is to promote tolerance and equality, shouldn’t people have the freedom to practice their religion?”

        In a word – NO. Not when the criteria they use to practice their religion discriminates against people because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation. Christians I know and admire follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Can you in your wildest dreams ever see Christ saying or doing the kinds of hateful, hurtful things happening today “in the name of religion”?!

        Fly has it right. If you want to discriminate, be a private business, don’t sell to just “some” of the public. Your premise is like a lot of the justification I hear from conservatives for bigoted positions – sounds good but deep down is hurtful. When a religion’s goals are achieved by hurting others who don’t subscribe to their tenets, they are a cult.

      • johngalt says:

        Here’s what the CEO said, “As leaders of technology companies, we not only disagree with this legislation on a personal level, but the RFRA will adversely impact our ability to recruit and retain the best and the brightest talent in the technology sector. Technology professionals are by their nature very progressive, and backward-looking legislation such as the RFRA will make the state of Indiana a less appealing place to live and work.”

        The part of this justification about recruiting and retaining top talent is an important one. As states, whether Alabama, Indiana, or others roll backwards into the 1950s they will become more and more estranged from the modern talent-based economy. I’ve never been to Indianapolis; it’s probably a decent midwestern city but what would draw me to move there? Today there’s even less reason than yesterday and that vector is not the direction of prosperity.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      It is always fun to stumble into someone who would have felt bad about boycotting “whites only” restaurants back in the day.

      • objv says:

        Homer, I think discrimination against African-Americans is wrong. However, I don’t think that past discrimination against blacks makes it right to make religious people provide services to a wedding they feel is morally wrong. No one should be forced to compromise their religious beliefs.

        That said, I would go to a gay wedding. I would bake a cake if were a baker. I would take pictures if I were a photographer. I do not see a conflict with my religion in this area, but I know others who would. There should be enough tolerance to disagree but still respect the other person’s opposing beliefs.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, “There should be enough tolerance to disagree but still respect the other person’s opposing beliefs.”

        If this tolerance you describe existed within the fundamentalist religious sector, our political discourse would be vastly different. It is the very LACK of tolerance that is the problem. I don’t give a flying flip about the crazy religious views of the far right as long as they keep it to themselves. Think about what you are saying and apply it to those who are hell-bent (pun intended) on running my life like they run theirs. I am just fine with my beliefs and they are entitled to be as crazy as they want – but when they start legislating their beliefs into laws that impact me and mine, they have crossed the line.

        Tolerance isn’t just a word, it’s a deeply held belief that is at the core of one’s actions.

      • objv says:

        Mime, in this case, making religious people “keep it to themselves” is just like telling gays and lesbians to “keep it to themselves.” Are you saying the religious should stay in the closet? You know that doesn’t work in either case. 🙂

        Freedom of religion is an integral part of our nation’s fabric. Many immigrants, maybe even some of your ancestors, came here for that specific reason. To deny someone the ability to make decisions based on their beliefs would be, to me, be a denial of a basic human right.

      • flypusher says:

        “Homer, I think discrimination against African-Americans is wrong. However, I don’t think that past discrimination against blacks makes it right to make religious people provide services to a wedding they feel is morally wrong. No one should be forced to compromise their religious beliefs.”

        There were people who once cited religious belief to enslave Black people. I have to question the morality of any religious belief that demands you exclude/ treat badly/ discriminate against other people because of innate traits they were born with (be it skin color or sexual orientation) or a choice they made that doesn’t hurt anyone else (be it following a different religion or choosing to marry a same- sex partner). I’d bet serious $ that it’s what Jesus would NOT do.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but you say that discrimination against Blacks is wrong, but you seem to be OK with (or at least willing to tolerate) discrimination against gay folks.

        I’m always struck by folks who want other people to tolerate their intolerance. Just doesn’t compute.

        I’m not an expert on the variety of religions in play in the US, but I do not think there are Biblical prohibitions against baking a cake for a gay couple. No one is making people engage in homosexual activity that they may view as a sin.

        It is interesting that the concerns seem to be more about gay folks rather than adulterers, fornicators, people getting married a second (third or fourth) time, all of which have many more Biblical prohibitions than does homosexuality.

        Your position is that the Civil Rights Act should not apply to private companies. It would be OK if a store owner has the religious belief that Black folks shouldn’t be eating with White folks, and enforces a “Whites Only” policy. The owner of an apartment complex could refuse to rent to Hispanic people because her religion fundamentally disagrees with Catholicism and so darn many Hispanics are Catholic.

        We’ve read this book before in our country’s history, and it is a pretty unpleasant story.

      • Crogged says:

        Where in the hell do you draw the line at allowing public bad behavior with ‘religious beliefs’? If a baker wishes to not serve ‘sinners’ he may festoon his business with all sorts of 1st amendment protected signs and send a message to the world. Just like Jesus did with his carpentry shop, remember? CHRISTIANITY IS NOT UNDER ATTACK IN THE UNITED STATES, despite all the public efforts of these modern Pharisees to make it a target for ridicule. I will grant that Christmas is under attack, from the Roman pagans who want their damn holiday back.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        March 26, 2015 at 10:26 pm

        “Mime, in this case, making religious people ‘keep it to themselves’ is just like telling gays and lesbians to ‘keep it to themselves.’ Are you saying the religious should stay in the closet? You know that doesn’t work in either case.”

        What is it with your incessant ignorant false equivalents OV? Is it because that is the only way you can justify your hate and “tolerance” for discrimination or to be hateful? No one is a saying a religion should be “in the closet” and NO CHRISTIAN RELIGION is “in the closet” in the US.

        What should be kept in the closet is your HATE and discrimination. Have you not heard the cliché “your first amendment rights end at the point of my nose”?

        Just like a racist can say the N word all he wants at home and within the earshot of no one but himself, but there are legal and social consequences if he/she/you say it in public to a Black person. Not to mention the denigrating impact of such. Which you are ok with when directed at gays.

        YOUR religion cannot dictate restrictions to equal rights to ANOTHER human being.

        This has been said how many times ad nauseum but it will never sink into your thick skull: Substitute Black, Hispanic, Asian, or even White for your discrimination against gays and see where that gets you.

        And stop playing that tired old faux victimization card already OV. It’s wearing and no one falls for it and your true character continues to “shine” through all the hateful discriminatory crap you post, no matter what lying language you couch it in.

        Double down on your hate OV. You will go down in history with those who unleashed hoses on civil rights marchers and spit on Black students attending integrated formerly Whites only schools in the 60’s.

        Wear it loud and proud OV.

    • Creigh says:

      Yes, Salesforce is being discriminatory. Perfectly legal until you start doing it based on categories protected under anti-discrimination law, e.g. race, sexual orientation, or religion. Geography is not a protected category.

      Apparently the law does not consider cake baking or flower arranging a religious activity, at least not if you’re doing it for money.

      This looks like a case where property rights bump up against individual rights. When that happens, individual rights ought to have some pretty strong presumptive advantage.

  26. 1mime says:

    I haven’t traveled abroad in some years, however, I shudder to think how other countries are viewing what is happening in America. All that America has stood for: freedom, opportunity, equality – is being upended in the name of religion. Well, here’s a clue: religion is not synonymous with being a good person. Nor does it give license to those in its ranks to impose their views on any other person. That this fundamentalist movement has coalesced into a potent political movement, is deeply disturbing and destructive to the principles upon which our nation was founded.

    So, bully for Salesforce.com. I hope other companies follow suit. What will it take to shake this nation loose from this fundamentalist cancer?

    • Crogged says:

      I have a paragraph from David Frum, saved, and I wait for the day to delete it as ‘history’.

      “Outside this alternative [conservative media] reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Senator Marco Rubio) “the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from.”

  27. Crogged says:

    The first “Law and Order” episode derivative of a prosecution under the Religious Freedom act will be good television.

    • texan5142 says:

      What he said!

    • Creigh says:

      If y’all want to read some great legal writing on this subject, read New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson’s special concurrence to the wedding photographer case, at http://www.nmcompcomm.us/nmcases/nmsc/slips/sc33,687.pdf pages 27-30. This opinion is, of course, only applicable in NM because the case is based on State law. He ties the result to three historic USSC decisions; WV vs Barnette (religious freedom), Loving vs Virginia (right to marry) and Heart of Atlanta Motel (business discrimination).

      • Crogged says:

        Thanks–here’s the key, “Businesses that choose to be public
        accommodations must comply with the NMHRA, although such businesses retain their First
        Amendment rights to express their religious or political beliefs.”

        The business can express its belief, but not compel its customers to LIVE it by withholding services it generally provides to the public. Post your asshole advertising, including your crosses and pray those two guys keep walking by….

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