There’s a lot of hate in my Facebook stream today about Indiana SB101 — the “Religious Freedom” bill. Basically it enshrines protection of religion above all else. So if you, Mr. Heathen, try to go to the Leftorium and Ned has a problem with your Heathen-ess, he can legally refuse service.
In practice I’m not entirely sure anyone really gets impacted by this. This notion that gay people (and let’s face it, it’s aimed at gay people) will somehow get refused service is unlikely. Any place a gay person will go probably isn’t the sort of place that’d ever refuse service to someone anyway. And gay people are pretty adept and used to this sort of thing. This is just another one of those instances where the courts will have to right a wrong. That’s what they’re there for, despite it taking years to do.
I for one have some faith in the market on this one in the meantime.
But the anger toward the legislature is almost fiercer than the original gay marriage debates of the last several sessions. I’m not entirely sure why.
In a democracy people elect the person they want to represent them. This is exactly what Hoosiers do every election day, despite Indiana having the lowest voter turnout in 2012.
I assure you the people in Putnam County, or the people in Pekin, or the people in Rising Sun or Plymouth or Washington, Indiana largely agree that this bill is a great idea.
Unlike Illinois where Chicago can make all the calls, Indiana has Indianapolis, Bloomington, and a relatively socially-conservative northwest region that leans sorta Democratic and none of it outweighs the rest of Indiana. And there is a lot of Indiana out there. And those people love this stuff. They care about their guns, religion, and love anything that lets them eek out a little more control over their corner of the universe. Or at least makes them feel more in control.
The legislature did exactly what it was supposed to do. It is made up of an entirely representative group of people. It is functioning exactly as intended and expected.
And seriously, if that bothers people, you just have to move. People in Seattle don’t get to complain about the weather. People in New York don’t get to complain about the noise. People in small towns don’t get to complain about a lack of economic opportunity. People in Indiana don’t get to complain about bills like SB101.
“But Justin, you can’t change the weather.” Well, you can’t change the minds of most Hoosiers, either. That’s sorta our thing.
I recognize it totally sucks. But when I was a teenager living in Salem, I knew to do much else in life I’d have to move, so I did. No sense in trying to change anything, because the majority of the people do not wish to do so. And that’s democracy.