The federal RFRA was passed in 1993, and since that time thirty states have adopted their own RFRA, or a variation of it. These laws have not engendered a single act of discrimination against any American, yet when Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed his own state’s law protecting religious liberty, critics went berserk.
“Bill Allows Businesses to Reject Gay Customers” said CNN. ABC-host George Stephanopoulous sounded the same alarms, and pointedly refused to ask Pence about the law’s positive impact on religious liberty. Similarly, at a recent press conference, Indiana’s top two lawmakers were asked many questions about gays, but not religious rights.
Former NBA star Charles Barkley has urged a boycott of Indiana. GenCon, the gaming company, has threatened to leave Indiana, and Angie’s List has put its planned campus expansion project in the state on ice. The mayors of Seattle and San Francisco have banned city travel to Indiana.
Top hysteria prizes go to Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, actor Ashton Kutcher, and Apple CEO Tim Cook. Lupica argued that it was as important to oppose this law as it was to fight for the right of women to abort their babies. Kutcher wondered whether Jews may now be banned from Indiana. And Cook compared the religious liberty law to “Whites Only” signs during Jim Crow.
Top duplicity prizes go to Senator Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton. Schumer slammed the Indiana RFRA law, but in 1993 he voted in favor of the federal RFRA, warning that unless it were passed, “the practice of using sacramental wine, wearing a yarmulke, kosher slaughter and many other religious practices all could be jeopardized.” Clinton’s husband signed RFRA into law.
It’s not clear what is worse—the demagoguery or the phoniness.