Gay Discrimination Is A Billion Dollar Self-Indulgence

By now, you have surely heard about Indiana’s so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its potential for giving cover to those who discriminate against gay people. A backlash that had already been gathering momentum burst open this weekend, driven by an op-ed by Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook in the Washington Post. As Cook wrote:

America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business.

The law’s passage has led to a torrent of business responses. I want to discuss the potential economic aspects of these, and what it might mean to the state of Indiana.

At stake are losses for manufacturing ($95.4 billion in annual state output), finance ($44 billion) and tourism ($10.3 billion) — not to mention reputational harm. Arizona adopted a similar religious-freedom bill last year, but “opposition from the state’s business interests led Republican Governor Jan Brewer to veto it.”

Any discussion of the economic implications and financial consequences of this law must take account of the speed of the response and the wave of unfavorable publicity

Continues here:  Indiana’s Costly Anti-Gay Experiment



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  1. VennData commented on Mar 31

    Gov. Pence proposes ‘fix’ to religious freedom law

    Right wingers out there,

    The GOP is selling you out while the World is on Fire. They passed DHS funding with Obama’s immigration. You can still get an abortion anywhere in the world You can still burn an American flag right in front of an aging veteran. You can still tear down nativity scenes within earshot of Main Street. More people can smoke dope legally every year. Homosexuals hold hands on TV right in front of your crying eyes. People mock white males, chastity, and the virgin birth everywhere

    Why are you still voting for Republicans? They are laughing at you.

  2. rd commented on Mar 31

    Quite a few states have these “Religious Freedom” bills. However, the Indiana one is unusual because it extends the rights to corporations as if they are individuals, in the same way the US Supreme Court has been allowing over the past few years.

    The irony is that this backlash may drive the state to passing a non-discrimination act which is probably not what a number of the Religious Freedom bill supporters originally had in mind. Several of the cities, including Indianapolis, have non-discrimination statutes but they are concerned that the Religious Freedom state law could trump their local ordinance. The Republican Indianapolis mayor was on NPR this morning and seemed alternately exhausted and pissed off that his state government had put him and other Republican mayors into this position.

    • VennData commented on Mar 31

      Oh they’re just saying that.

      They need nuts out there pulling the lever to keep their own wages low and reject the heavy hand of government trying to get them affordable health care.

    • Whammer commented on Mar 31

      I actually believe that, on average, most Republican mayors are not wingnuts. They need to serve the needs of their cities, which tends to make them more pragmatic, and they are more exposed to their constituencies.

  3. DeDude commented on Mar 31

    Last week Krugman talked about the effects of airconditioning on migration of jobs from north to south

    These gay discrimination laws could end up having a “reverse AC” effect. High tech companies that want to hire the best available specialists would have to question whether to locate in a state that exclude a substantial part of the labor pool. Its not just the gays that would be reluctant to relocate there, but also more sophisticated people who understand how discrimination targeting one minority quickly can change its aim at other minorities. As the north-east increase its protection and tolerance laws, those states that go in the opposite direction may be left to dry in the dust (but at least they will have air-conditioned antebellum mansions left).

  4. hue commented on Mar 31

    lol in god we distrust (or discriminate)

  5. Iamthe50percent commented on Mar 31

    “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” The “Restoration” part implies that someone had freedoms that were taken away by the government. Perhaps the preamble to the bill should have enumerated those acts, say like the Declaration of Independence did? At least the Governor should spell it out in his interviews instead of saying what the Act is not? Also, it’s kind of vague what we are talking about. I think any such bill should list what’s explicitly considered a religious act. As it stands, the Act says that I can dream up anything and say it’s against my religion. It’s against my religion to have my premises inspected by unbelievers? It’s against my religion to pay taxes to a secular government? It’s against my religion to suffer a witch to live?

    Has Indiana banned handing out Christian tracts in public businesses? Does it forbid the owner of a kosher deli from denying a customer a slice of cheese on his corned beef sandwich? Does it require a business to open on the Jewish or Christian or Muslim Sabbath? I don’t live in Indiana (Thank God!), so I don’t know why the legislature thought this law was necessary. But I can guess. It’s probably about legalizing discrimination in public businesses in the guise of religious freedom. Otherwise, why doesn’t the law speak to the freedoms that someone supposedly took away?

    • rd commented on Mar 31

      They are just ticked off that the Bill of Rights starts off with “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” instead of making the United States a “Christian Nation”.

      Fresh Air had a really interesting piece on last year looking at how the “Christian Nation” movement started in the 1930s in response to the New Deal and took off in the 1950s.

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Mar 31

      Very good link. I knew about the Pledge, but didn’t know about the coins. At my grandson’s Cub scout meetings, I always stood silent for two beats – “… One Nation (beat) (beat) Indivisible…” No one ever commented.

  6. gordo365 commented on Mar 31

    Where do pacifists fit into this scheme? It is against my religious beliefs to pay taxes to fund the war machine. Or do I have to be a corporation to exercise my beliefs/rights with this bill?

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