Saturday, April 4, 2015

LGBT Community Gets Played by Freedom Indiana, Led Into Costly Battle Irrelevant to Advancing Cause of Anti-Discrimination

At the end of this week, Freedom Indiana claimed victory as Governor Mike Pence and the Republican supermajorities in the legislature backed down and adopted a "fix" to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into the law by the Governor just days before.  Freedom Indiana declared it a "step in the right direction" and that the RFRA "harm had been lessened."

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
they were led into a bitter political fight by Freedom Indiana undoubtedly for the purpose of gaining attention and contributions to the organization.  It was a fight though which did not advance LGBT rights one inch and, in fact, set them back.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ogden, you are absolutely correct that my LGBT community was thoroughly played by the persons at the head of the Freedom Indiana group and the far left liberal Democrats like Katie Blair, Megan Robertson, and Rick Sutton. Sadly, my community seems unable to think outside the prison planet groupthink of this left liberal Democrat ideology which is actually more like a religious cult that is paramount over happiness, individuality, and (believe it or not) tolerance. Facts are meaningless to these people because they do not think critically; they move through life on emotion and the emotion of the left liberal Democrat is anger. And they are always angry and they are angry about most everything. Emotion cannot inform us, emotions deceive whereas the scientific method of arriving at truth cannot be anything but truth. But many LGBT don’t get that reality and many never will.

My opinion is that these people named earlier herein care not really for their LGBT brothers and sisters but more about the agenda, the process, that the means justify the ends no matter how vile and deceitful in order to bring about the “change” they see as working toward their Utopian ideal. I think they see their organizations as more important than the ideals the larger community holds. The institution is always greater than the individual to these left liberal activists of whom most are unelected by anyone.

The mean-spirited hatred when it comes to their Christian-bullying is especially troubling. Muslims have zero acceptance of LGBT but I have yet to hear of gay rights activists mount media campaigns against a bakery owned, say, by a person of the Muslim faith where the Muslim would deny a wedding cake for a same sex couple. And the Muslim faith demands death for gays and lesbians. It seems to me most Christians are for more accepting of the opinions of others, far more gracious under fire, and far more tolerant than the intolerant left liberal Democrats.