LGBT supporters should now be sobering up to the realization that
|Freedom Indiana Campaign Manager Katie Blair who |
is also "Advocacy Coordinator" for the Indiana ACLU
The fix which the LGBT community is celebrating doesn't actually do anything. All it does is say that the RFRA doesn't invalidate the application of an anti-discrimination law. We have had 22 years of federal and state RFRAs. We had 30 years under the older Sherbert test reinstated by the RFRA. Not once in those 52 years has a court found that religious objections invalidated an anti-discrimination law. All Indiana's fix does is incorporate that concept into the statute.
Freedom Indiana's battle against RFRA was pointless. Scores of law professors told opponents that the law did not in any way affect the cause of anti-discrimination, but the organizations leaders refused to listen preferring instead to fan the flames of demagoguery. Instead of working for a cause that would truly advance LGBT rights - such as the adoption of an statewide anti-discrimination law - Freedom Indiana engaged in vile and personal attacks against the governor, legislators and even people of faith who dared to support the law.
Freedom Indiana has now fought two battles to stop laws. The first battle against the marriage amendment was waged using a positive approach, tactics that won the organization the grudging support of many on the other side of the aisle. However, in the battle against the RFRA, Freedom Indiana's employed threats, misinformation and demagoguery, the most vile and reprehensible political campaign I have seen in my lifetime.
One thing you learn in politics is that stopping a law and passing one requires a completely different approach. Threats might stop legislation but threats do not get legislation passed. Legislation is passed by building relationships with legislators, providing assurances about what the proposed law does and doesn't do, and building coalitions that include those who might otherwise oppose the law.
If Freedom Indiana had been truly interested in advancing the cause of LGBT rights, what the organization should have been doing this session is working behind the scenes to get a statewide anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation passed. It wouldn't have gotten the organization attention or much in contributions, but it would have laid the groundwork for getting an anti-discrimination law passed. Instead it chose to bitterly attack the RFRA and its supporters, again a law that had no impact on LGBT rights. In the process, Freedom Indiana permanently alienated scores of legislators and RFRA supporters who otherwise might have supported the cause of LGBT rights or at least not fervently opposed those rights.
Bottom line, LGBT community you got played by Freedom Indiana. Freedom Indiana leaders are clearly more interested in drawing attention to the organization and raising contributions than they are in advancing the cause of LGBT rights.