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Monday, March 30, 2015

No Travel Zone

Arizona is included in the map despite the veto of SB1062 in 2014 because an RFRA bill was passed in 2012.
I’ve been to 40 out of the 50 United States. A few years with a traveling carnival and being, just generally, a curious, venturing soul is why and how.

The one's I haven't been to yet?
I’ve not been to Oregon but my pal Heike’s moving there soon and I’ll be visiting her. Montana and Idaho are reputedly gorgeous so they're on the wish list. North and South Dakota have all kinds of fascinating history and Louisiana has New Orleans which, I hear tell, is worth a visit. Hawaii and Alaska—yeah, duh. Of COURSE!

Mississippi? Oh please. Nope, not goin’ there. Ever. Never. It was, most likely, that state's stratospheric heinousness—the sanctioned murders—that caused my mother to solemnly intone “the South is uncivilized.”

So yeah, no interest in visiting Mississippi.

What brings this up today? It’s all the talk of boycotting Indiana. Sure, I’m all for it but, avoiding travel to Indiana isn’t exactly a hardship. It feels along the same lines as giving up lima beans and Brussels sprouts (hurl) for lent. I wouldn't eat them or visit there anyway so this is a pain free, effectless shunning.

I’ve been to Indiana. When I was 11 and 12 we lived in Bloomington and I absolutely loathed the place. It was flat, decidedly unlovely and people talked funny (I know, I live in Boston—pot, meet kettle). Outside of the University (where Daddy was working on his doctorate) the place had all the beauty, culture and charm of a half dead strip mall.

19 other states have some form of “Religious Freedom” law but there’s been no hullabaloo, no call to boycott them. Why not?

Josh Marshall of Talking Point Memo says:
There are tipping point moments in which things that were once uncontroversial or unpunished suddenly become very controversial and bring in their wake a storm of backlash.
The other states?
Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Josh Marshall again :
The fact that other states have so called "religious freedom restoration acts" is at best misleading. The movement to push these laws goes back at least two decades. But until quite recently they were not specifically, almost exclusively, focused on gays and lesbians.
Jeremy Diamond at CNN notes, in his interesting write up :
Adam Talbot, a spokesman with the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, stressed that those 20 laws are "dramatically different in their scope and effect."
"Calling them similar in this way risks being misleading. Indiana is the broadest and most dangerous law of its kind in the country," Talbot said.
Religious liberty -- and using it to push back against same-sex marriage and other gay rights -- has become the rallying cry for the social conservative movement in the last year as these groups have watched one anti-gay marriage law after the next tumble in the courts.
And standing behind with Pence as he signed the bill were several socially conservative lobbyists, the ones who pushed for the law and are fiercely opposed to same-sex marriage.
One of those lobbyists, Eric Miller, explicitly wrote on his website that the law would protect businesses from participating in "homosexual marriage."
Yup. Lovely. Could Indiana, for the sake of accuracy, just change the law's name to the  “We’re totes down with discrimination against the gays or whoever else you don’t like because, ya know, not all men, and most certainly not the little ladies, are created equal” law?

Mebbe that's too long for Pence to remember?

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