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Religious Tolerance logo

State religious freedom to discriminate laws

Part 6: 2015-MAR: Indiana:
Mayors, Governors, and NASCAR denounce RFRA.

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This topic is a continuation of the previous essay

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2015-MAR-30: Negative reactions continue. Legislators discussing revisions to Indiana's RFRA:

The firestorm of negative reactions to the state RFRA continued to roll in. Included were reactions from:

  • Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple;

  • Dannel Malloy, the governor of Connecticut;

  • Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington State;

  • Edward Murray, the mayor of Seattle, WA;

  • Edwin Lee, the mayor of San Francisco, CA;

  • Inslee, the governor of Washington State; and

  • Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York State!

Mayors Lee and Murray signed executive orders banning official travel by city employees to Indiana. Governors Cuomo and Inslee also announced travel bans for state employees.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said:

“Enough is enough". Legalized discrimination should not be tolerated. No one should be denied access to critical services simply because of who they are or who they love. My action today sends a strong signal [that] Seattle does not support Indiana’s discriminatory law. Rather we stand with those in Indiana fighting for equality.”

“This is a settled issue. We are long passed the day when it is acceptable to discriminate against someone because of the color of their skin, their gender, or who they love. We cannot allow bills like SB 101 to take us back to the 1950s when businesses could deny services to people because of who they are." 1

Governor Malloy of Connecticut is the incoming chair of the Democratic Governors Association. He appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe TV program, where he said, rather bluntly:

"When you see a bigot, you have to call him on it. ... The reality is, the governor’s not a stupid man — but he’s done stupid things. Signing this law and, quite frankly, promoting this law knowing exactly what it was going to do was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do. ... When it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. They knew what they were doing and what they were doing was deciding that they were going to make it legal to refuse to serve gay men and women." 2

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Kendall Breitman, writing for Politico, said:

"The law’s aim was to discriminate, [Governor] Malloy argued, noting that two of the people present at the bill’s signing have campaigned against same-sex marriage and have compared homosexuality to beastiality. ..."

"Malloy added that he felt Pence had 'miscalculated terribly' how the law would be received and said the law shows 'outright bigotry in Indiana.'

Pence has defended the legislation in interviews, saying he abhors discrimination and claiming that the media have misrepresented his intentions. But in a news conference Tuesday, he called for a 'legislative fix' to the law to make it clear that the law does not allow for discrimination:" 2

The following WRTV-TV 6 video by takes a long time to load, is preceeded by a commercial, and then starts automatically:


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2015-MAR-31: NASCAR becomes the latest group to denounce Indiana's RFRA law:

David Badash, writing for The New Civil Rights Movement, said:

"From the moment Governor Mike Pence [R] signed the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law last Thursday, it seems every hour brings another major opponent of the law.

Pence's RFRA, despite his claims, is designed to be a license to discriminate against minorities and women, but the LGBT community has been its primary target.

Today, NASCAR -– which is the second most-viewed sports franchise, next only to the NFL -– issued a strong condemnation of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. ..."

NASCAR's Brett Jewkes, senior vice president and chief communications officer, said in a statement to NBC Sports:

'NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sport and therefore will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events in the state of Indiana and anywhere else we race,'

'For 105 years the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has engaged millions who want to celebrate the true spirit of American racing. IMS will continue to warmly welcome all who share our enthusiasm for motorsports – employees, participants and fans'." 4

Tyler Jones, a reader of The New Civil Rights Movement article posted a comment:

"When NASCAR laps you on gay rights, it’s probably time to stop fighting it." 4

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Mayor Ed Murray signs executive order banning official city travel to Indiana,"Office of the Mayor, 2015-MAR-31, at:
  2. Kendall Breitman, "Connecticut governor: Mike Pence is a ‘bigot’," Politico, 2015-MAR-31, at:
  3. Harry Bruinus, "New Indiana law: Does freedom of religion mean freedom to discriminate?," The Christian Science Monitor, 2015-MAR-30, at:
  4. David Badash, "NASCAR Becomes Latest To Denounce Indiana Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Law," The New Civil Rights Movement, 2015-MAR-31, at:

Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Posted: 2015-MAR-28
Latest update: 2015-APR-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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