April 08, 2015

Dear Indiana... and nineteen other states

Facing tremendous economic damage and mounting public pressure from business interests and citizens alike, Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently signed legislation limiting the damage the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act has done to its reputation and economy. His new legislation falls short of providing a proper solution. The measure fails to ensure that the RFRA won’t be used to undermine the full scope of Indiana's existing non-discrimination laws, and does not add LGBT non-discrimination protections to the state’s civil rights laws. Bigotry will continue to be legal in Indiana. 

Indiana isn't alone in its lunacy couched in religious freedom. There are nineteen other states to avoid when travelling to the Excited States of America.

All this from a country that celebrates a person's right, indeed, a state's right, to display a flag with historical ties to slavery. This too from a country that continues to support the apartheid state of Israel, mainly because of the money being spent on both sides of the political divide, though increasingly on the fanatical right.

At the same time, this nation finds itself in lockstep with the madness that is Saudi Arabia. Mind you Saudi does seem to have the oil the Excited States desire, and why buy oil from your closest, and most democratic neighbour, when you can buy oil from a nation that publicly beheads people, locks up women for driving cars and stones them to death for looking at someone the wrong way. Oh, and yes, the Saudis do buy about $60 billion worth of military equipment from the Excited States every year, and they probably wouldn't be thrilled to serve gays either, just like the folks in Indiana.

Yes, all this nuttiness from a country that allows its police departments to use asset forfeiture laws to shakedown innocent, law abiding citizens and tourists; that seems to allow its police to shoot first, and possibly explain later. Or not. A nation, in league with the likes of Afghanistan, that can't even begin to control the sale of guns within its own territory.

No Toto, it isn't just Indiana, or even Kansas. Indiana is just the favourite of the current news cycle. There are at least nineteen other states, including Kansas, to consider when travelling south of the border. Or not.

Copyright 2015 by Jim Murray.

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