INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 31: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks during a press conference March 31, 2015 at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pence spoke about the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has been condemned by business leaders and Democrats. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are mine exclusively and not necessarily those of the staff or management of KMMS AM 1450 or The TownSquare Media Corporation.

Boycott Indiana?

As a businessperson, I am not a big fan of boycotts. I think they hurt employees more than owners and are most often used as nothing more than to send some form of self-perceived, politically correct message.

That message is generally designed to make the person calling for the boycott to look good and compassionate for whatever the “Cause of the Week,” happens to be.

Businesses refusing to do business with Indiana, companies or CEOs suspending sales flights to that state doesn’t help anyone.

To request moving the “Final Four” basketball tournament just demonstrates the ridiculous levels that political correctness can rise to.

The only real positive I see to this law is that it’s kept “climate change” off the news agenda for the past week or so. That alone is a small blessing.

Who Is A Protected Class?

Discrimination laws deal primarily with employment or housing of individual classes of people that the law is designed to protect.

“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e and following) prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin (including membership in a Native American tribe). It also prohibits employers from retaliating against an applicant or employee who asserts his or her rights under the law.”

Here are the discrimination classes in addition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 From Nolo.com:

  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) 29 U.S.C. 621-634
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) 42 U.S.C. 12101-12213
  • The Equal Pay Act (29 U.S.C. 206(d))
  • The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) 8 U.S.C. 1324
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1866 (commonly referred to as Section 1981 (African-Americans as citizens)
  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) 42 U.S.C. 2000ff – (Sex) This 2008 law prohibits employers from using an applicant's or employee's genetic information as the basis for employment decisions and requires employers to keep genetic information confidential.

All the above classes are protected classes under the anti-discrimination laws.

Non-Protected Classes

The definition of “sex,” meaning a person is either a man or woman, can’t be discriminated against in housing or employment solely for that reason.

Sexual preference is not a protected class under Federal Law. Many states have adopted “gender identity” and/or “sexual orientation” as a part of their state laws.

Some Needed Definitions

Wikipedia defines the terms this way:

  • Gender: the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones).
  • Gender Identity: is a person's private sense and subjective experience of their own gender. This is generally described as one's private sense of being a man or a woman, consisting primarily of the acceptance of membership into a category of people: male or female.
  • Sexual Orientation: a person's sexual identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted; the fact of being heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.

Here is a map of those states that have state laws regarding “gender identity” and/or “sexual orientation,” or both.

The Indiana Law Defines Persons

Section 7 of The Indiana Law defines person as:

“Sec. 7. As used in this chapter, “person” included the following:

1.) An individual;

2.) An organization, a religious society, a church, a body of communicants, or a group organized and operated primarily for religious purposes;

3.) A partnership, Limited Liability Company, a corporation, a company, a firm, a society a joint-stock company an unincorporated association or another entity that a.) May sue and be sued; and

b.) Exercises practices that are compelled or limited by a system of religious belief held by:

An individual or the individual; who have control and substantial ownership of the entity regardless of whether the entity is organized and operated for profit or nonprofit purposes.”

In layman’s terms, what this says is that I as a business owner am not required to do business with you if I interpret your actions as being contrary to my closely held religious beliefs.

And, if you feel I have done you wrong by refusing service you have the right to take me to court and make your case. And in every case brought so far, you will win.

The courts will force me to do business with you.

Misinformation Overload

The sad part of this whole discussion is that 99 percent of American have no idea what this law says. They haven’t read it or do they even intend to.

The TV talking heads have clearly defined the stance that will be taken by its “sheeple” and the wagon is moving so get on board.

I’m not going to waste time going into the vast array of examples where this law would have just the opposite effects that its proponents desire.

I am however perplexed as why we have to “fix” a law when there has not been a single instance of abuse yet. It was passed a week ago.

Many states, 19 in fact, have similar law, as does the US signed into law by then President Bill Clinton.

While the Texas and Indiana law are a lot more detailed in their protections, I don’t recall any one boycotting Texas for their violation of any civil rights act.

At least not rising to the level that Indiana has experienced.

There’s an old expression, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Meaning that if you’re vocal enough you can affect change — sometimes positive, sometimes negative.

I’m in favor of that message. If a wrong is being done, let’s make it right. But when there is little evidence that this law will damage anyone, fixed or not, I think the outrage is premature.

Some Final Thoughts

If the law abuses a specific group at the expense of another group how is that constructive? My religious beliefs are trumped by your lifestyle? How is that fair on any level?

Why does one group’s action outweigh the other group? Simple answer, “Political Correctness” always wins out.

Side with the group that’s most vocal and everyone will think you are a great human being.

Unless you’re a member of the bad group.

Starbucks message is great; Chic-fil-A’s is bad.

Whatever group you happen to be in, stand up for what you believe regardless of the consequences or what people are going to think of you.

Having your thinking controlled by others helps no one. Assemble your own facts don’t allow those with an agenda to assemble them for you.

Davy Crockett said, “First be SURE you’re right; then go ahead.” Are you sure you’re right?

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