Recently Indiana passed and the Governor signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. By doing so Indiana joined a majority of states which have such protections for religious freedom. There is also a federal version of the act which was passed overwhelmingly by Congress in 1993 and signed into law by President Clinton. Here are the operative sections of both the Federal and State Acts:
A governmental entity may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
Go here for the complete text of the Act. States enacted their own version of the statute because the Supreme Court in 1997 ruled rightfully that the federal act was not applicable to state laws or local ordinances.
What does this have to do with GenCon, the gaming convention held in Indianapolis that I and my bride have been attending since 1986?
Well, homosexual activists have been busily portraying this statute as a license to discriminate against gays, and the head of GenCon decided to get on this band wagon. Go here to read the letter by Adrian Swartout.
The ignorance contained in the letter is simply stunning. Swartout is apparently bone ignorant as to the federal version of the act and how many states have similar acts. Swartout also is apparently ignorant of the fact that the Act could only be used if a government seeks to discriminate against an individual or business on the basis of their religion. The only possible applicability to homosexuals would be if a government sought to take action against a business that discriminated against gays. The only businesses where such a contention would survive judicial analysis would be those where the owners could demonstrate that their religious beliefs forbid providing a service, such as baking a cake for a gay wedding. The idea that this statute would have any impact on services provided to convention attendees in downtown Indie is simply farcial. Of course all the hoopla about the Act has nothing to do with the law or facts, but everything to do with the flexing of political muscles by gay activists. This tempest also demonstrates that religious freedom is simply not going to be tolerated by those who shriek loudest for tolerance.