Religious Freedom Meets Rock and Roll Backlash in Indiana
Earlier this month, March 10, Tweedy was in town to play a show at the Emerson Center. Great show from Jeff Tweedy, his son Spencer and the rest of their band. Jeff had many very nice things to say about his time in Bozeman. Well, except for the volume of 'poo' along the 'M', but he was his generally friendly self and a good time was had by all.
When not on the road with his son or in studio producing other artists albums, Jeff is the front man for a little band called Wilco.
Earlier this afternoon, Wilco released the following statement on its Facebook page (link to Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act added for context):
We are canceling our May 7 show at the Murat in Indianapolis. The 'Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act' feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination to us. Hope to get back to the Hoosier State someday soon, when this odious measure is repealed. Refunds available at point of purchase.
The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act is the antithesis of Bozeman's non-discrimination ordinance (NDO). As Garrett Epps writing for The Atlantic points out:
Of all the state “religious freedom” laws I have read, this new statute hints most strongly that it is there to be used as a means of excluding gays and same-sex couples from accessing employment, housing, and public accommodations on the same terms as other people.
Five Bozeman residents have filed suit, seeking a judge to declare the non-discrimination ordinance invalid. What are the ramifications IF Bozeman's NDO is lifted? Will it swing the pendulum to the political center or only a precursor to a further momentum to the Right?
I don't know and nor do you, but if Indiana is any indication, it's not just a rock show Bozeman will be missing out on.