Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law is an Affront to the Values of Organized Labor
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed that state’s version of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill, which would allow businesses, governments, and even first responders to discriminate against LGBT people and other minority groups on religious grounds. Versions of these laws are being pushed by legislators in many states in the wake of recent progress for LGBT marriage equality. Pride at Work opposes these bills and Executive Director Jerame Davis, an Indiana native, reacted strongly to the enactment of this law in Indiana:
“Up is not down, left is not right, and we have not always been at war with Eastasia,” said Davis. “Orwellian doublespeak will not hide the true nature of these laws intended to restrict the freedom of LGBT people while masquerading as ‘religious tolerance.’ As a born and raised Hoosier, I’m appalled that a state known for its hospitality and easy-going demeanor would even consider such a divisive and unwelcoming law.
“It is shocking to me that legislators have been quick to pass these laws without thinking about the potential consequences. The Indiana law, which goes much further than the federal RFRA, isn’t only about preventing a business from being forced to sell wedding cakes to gay people. A broad interpretation of the language could lead to some incredibly disastrous forms of discrimination that wouldn’t necessarily be confined to LGBT people.
“America’s labor movement has worked for decades to put an end to the types of discrimination this bill seeks to not only allow, but promote as a virtue. Fighting this sort of blind bigotry, which has plagued so many marginalized groups in our country’s history, is at the core of union values and stands as a reminder that our work is not done.”
Pride At Work is the official constituency group of LGBT union members and allies fighting for workplace equality for LGBT workers.We organize mutual support between the organized labor movement in the spirit of the union movement’s historic motto, “An Injury to One is An Injury to All.” Workers interested in joining Pride at Work or in launching new chapter organizing efforts, can visit www.prideatwork.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.