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Alabama updates 3/25

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Alabama state seal– The same-sex couples who are plaintiffs in Hedgepeth, the case involving Mobile County’s probate office closing instead of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, are asking for their case to be dismissed because they got marriage licenses.

– The plaintiffs in Hathcote have also filed a motion to dismiss their case.

– Cari Searcy has filed a motion to dismiss her adoption case. Mobile County’s probate judge had initially refused to issue a final order in the case, but he has since changed his order making it final, and he recused himself.

– The plaintiffs in Strawser, the potential class-action challenge to Alabama’s ban, have filed their reply in support of class certification. The judge could rule on this request at any time.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. RemC_Chicago  |  March 25, 2015 at 9:32 am

    OT: We all knew that the backlash from the growing acceptance of ME would be severe, but there is so much activity going on right now, that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. The latest religious freedom bill in Indiana on top of all the others, the Sodomite Suppression Act, all the crap going on in Texas, the hate crimes…I'd love to come up with a creative and tangible idea on how to express the "enough, already, get a life!" reaction that I know we're all feeling. We don't want to impose ourselves on others, we just want to be left alone to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

  • 2. guitaristbl  |  March 25, 2015 at 10:02 am

    The indiana bill is the only one of that nature that has reached a governor's desk so far thankfully. Even if they are not found unconstitutional (although I believe the implications with local anti discrimination ordinances will provide some rough road ahead for these bills), they will be eventually repealed with the earliest possible scenario being a change in the legislature in such states (unlikely any time soon).
    Other than that we deal with them and just use them before SCOTUS to showcase the vast animus exposed.
    There's not much civil rights organizations can do especially in legislatures Ike those in Oklahoma or Texas or Indiana.

  • 3. hopalongcassidy  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    About the Indiana bill…I happened to pause on Faux Snooze just a few minutes ago because they were talking about it. One of the bloggers, a female named Crystal something who calls herself a 'black chick' (she looks about as black as Antarctica) was defending it and replying to some group's implied threat to stop having conventions there said Chicago is the only nearby competitor but Illinois has the same law"……………… that true? I can't find anything to support that claim.

  • 4. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    The Illinois RFRA has been in effect since 1998 and can be seen here:

    Despite the chorus of Chicken Littles, the sky is not falling. RFRA is a good thing because it brings strict scrutiny to a constitutional right (religious freedom). All constitutional rights should be enforced via strict scrutiny. RFRA is a step on the road to that goal.

    The bellowing of legislative wingnuts in the Indiana Legislature is political posturing which is par for the course in a red state. The RFRA legislation will not have the results that these bigoted wingnuts are talking about.

    Illinois and many other states have had RFRAs for a long time, and anti-discrimination laws have remained in full force. That situation will continue.

  • 5. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    The Illinois statute is quite different from the Indiana (and the vetoed Arizona) law.

    The laws says that "Government may not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person (i) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and (ii) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest."

    But in Illinois the state holds through a variety of laws that nondiscrimination in public accommodations, as well as employment, housing, etc., is a compelling state interest, so the state RFRA cannot be used to exempt someone from obeying nondiscrimination laws.

    Not so in Indiana, which has repeatedly refused to pass a state-wide non-discrimination law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Moreover, the Indiana law specifically targets the non-discrimination laws that have been passed by cities or counties, saying that they are subject to the RFRA rather than, as in the Illinois law, making the RFRA subject to the state's compelling interest in insuring nondiscrimination.

    The comparison of the two states' versions of the RFRA shows precisely how dangerous and bigoted the Indiana version is. The entire purpose the Indiana RFRA is to license discrimination and insulate it from any challenge by those who suffer discrimination.

  • 6. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    A "compelling state interest" can be asserted by a city or county as well as by the state in general. "State" here simply means "government". Legally, both counties and cities are created by and considered an integral part of the state. The only difference is that the laws they create apply to a smaller geographical area. The Indiana RFRA will not affect city or county anti-discrimination laws.

  • 7. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    That is simply not true. The Indiana RFRA will certainly affect city and county anti-discrimination laws. Indeed, the law authorizes the state to intervene on behalf of a defendant who claims that their religious practice is burdened by a statute, ordinance, resolution, executive or administrative order, regulation, custom, or usage.

    The law sets up a scenario in which Indianapolis, say, wants to prosecute someone for violating the city nondiscrimination ordinance. Not only does the person claiming sincerely held religious beliefs get to use that as a defense, but can also call upon the state Attorney General's office to defend him or her or at least intervene in the lawsuit on the behalf of the person accused of discrimination.

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    It will not affect those laws at all. Allowing the state to intervene in a court case does not guarantee victory – states are routinely defeated in court.

  • 9. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    It is a lie, just as it is a lie that these laws do nothing other than the federal RFRA.

    I find it amusing that on the one hand the proponents of these despicable laws say they need to pass them so that people with strongly held religious beliefs will not have to serve customers they don't want to serve and then, on the other hand, when people threated to cancel conventions in their cities, they say that it won't have that effect at all.

  • 10. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Federal RFRA only applies to federal law. State RFRAs apply to state law. That is why state RFRAs are needed – to apply the same standard to state law.

    State RFRAs do not have any effect on neutral, generally applicable anti-discrimination laws and that will continue to be the case.

  • 11. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    You are simply repeating talking points. The text of the bills clearly indicate that their intention is to allow people to discriminate on the basis of their religious beliefs. Inasmuch as there are no applicable anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation and gender identity in Indiana (or Alabama or Oklahoma and most of the other places these despicable laws will be enacted), it is cold comfort to say that the state RFRAs will have no effect on generally applicable anti-discrimination laws. It is also not true.

  • 12. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    The text of the bill says absolutely nothing of the sort. Here's a link:

    Furthermore, Indiana does indeed have anti-discrimination laws & regulations that protect on the basis of sexual orientation:

  • 13. FredDorner  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Ummm…..your wiki link shows that Indiana lacks any statewide protections for sexual orientation in housing, employment, public accommodations, and hate crimes.

    That's true of all other red states as well, except that Utah recently passed some legislation in this area.

  • 14. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    The text of the bill specifically says that it applies to generally applicable nondiscrimination laws.

    "A governmental entity statute, ordinance, resolution,
    executive or administrative order, regulation, custom, or usage
    may not be construed to be exempt from the application of this
    chapter unless a state statute expressly exempts the statute,
    ordinance, resolution, executive or administrative order,
    regulation, custom, or usage from the application of this chapter."

    Indiana has no state-wide nondiscrimination laws covering sexual orientation and gender identity. There is an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in state employment (which courts have already established as illegal) and there are a few cities that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The latter are the ones that will almost certainly be rendered unenforceable by these bills, which will also insulate people who have sincerely held religious beliefs from lawsuits challenging discrimination in public accommodations.

    It is nonsense to think that this law will not do precisely what its proponents want to do: deny legal protection from discrimination to gay people and encourage religious folk to discriminate against gay people.

    I suspect it might also have lots of unintended consequences and that may prove quite interesting.

  • 15. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    There are "applicable anti-discrimination laws" in Indiana. They are at the city and county level. In addition, there is statewide anti-discrimination policy which has been implemented via Executive Order and which protects state employees from discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

    The section you cite simply says that the RFRA can be invoked against anything the state does. In general, constitutional rights can be invoked against anything the state does, so this simply makes RFRA co-extensive with the constitutional right it applies to. It most certainly does NOT say that it will have the effect of overturning anti-discrimination laws.

    The anti-discrimination laws and state policies of Indiana will remain entirely unaffected by its RFRA, just as the RFRAs of many other states have left and will continue to leave the anti-discrimination laws and policies of those states entirely unaffected.

  • 16. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    This is an absurd reading of this law, which deliberately targets the few protections–such as executive orders and a few county and city nondiscrimination laws–by making them utterly toothless. All a person has to do is say that their religious practice is burdened by having to serve a gay person or couple.

  • 17. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    A person can say that and file a lawsuit, just as I can say that any state action, law, regulation, etc. violates my right to free speech or some other constitutional right and file a lawsuit. However, saying it does not guarantee victory in a court of law. And the track record of RFRAs against anti-discrimination laws and policies is very clear: there have been NO successful uses of RFRA against anti-discrimination laws or state policies whatsoever, and state RFRAs have been in effect since 1998, so that's about 17 years in which exactly NO anti-discrimination laws or policies have EVER been affected by state RFRAs.

  • 18. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    The previously passed RFRAs have been different from the recent ones beginning with the Arizona law. You don't seem to grasp the difference between an RFRA in a state like Illinois and one in a state like Indiana.

    We shall soon see exactly how vulnerable the few nondiscrimination laws that exist in Indiana are. Pence is going to sign the bill in a private signing ceremony tomorrow. No doubt even he is embarrassed to sign it in a public ceremony.

    The big difference between you saying that some state action, law, regulation, etc. violates your right to free speech and filing a lawsuit; and an Indiana bigot saying that a nondiscrimination law violates his or her practice of religion and filing a lawsuit is that if you file a suit you're on your own and will have to absorb all the costs; however, the bigot can evoke this law and have the support of the state in his or her lawsuit.

  • 19. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Arizona has had its state RFRA since 1999 and it has not been changed since. There was a debate about possibly changing it which ended in a decision not to change it.

    State intervention is no guarantee of victory, since states are routinely defeated in court. States can also file amicus briefs even where they cannot intervene.

    There is nothing fundamentally different about the Indiana RFRA. It simply applies strict scrutiny to religious freedom claims with respect to state law.

    We shall indeed soon see that the Indiana RFRA has exactly no effect on existing city and county anti-discrimination laws.

  • 20. Decided_Voter  |  March 25, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Though something to be aware of and smartly respond to, what is happening now doesn't to me compare to the feeling in 2004, after the marriage bans, when marriage equality felt light years away. There also just aren't the crowds today at the anti-gay rallies to indicate wide-spread public support for their position. I do wonder in the back of my mind if what they're doing could ultimately help LGBTs with a Supreme Court decision and future court decisions and legislation.

    If SCOTUS rules marriage equality the law of the land, that will ultimately further marginalize them while giving LGBTs more long-term stability that will come from acceptance. Remember, what they did in 2004, has ultimately helped with nationwide equality being well within grasp. Once people rationally thought about it and were affected by the images of loving couples – fear and "otherness" melted away.

    Thinking big picture here.

  • 21. RemC_Chicago  |  March 25, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Thank you both for your perspectives! I hope the assumption of hateful behavior & rhetoric eventually being marginalized proves to be true. Those of us directly impacted by the anti-gay activity going on nationally are obviously better informed about what's going on that people outside of our community—or so I think. Just this morning, I was surprised to discover that a colleague of mine—-someone I consider to be extremely well-read and well-informed—didn't know anything about the California "Sodomite Suppression Act," in addition to a few other issues of importance to us.

  • 22. hopalongcassidy  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I rather imagine that "Sodomite Suppression" idiocy is so insanely bizarre it really doesn't register on most people's radar. I don't even think I'd have noticed it if it hadn't been mentioned here on EoT…

  • 23. Rick55845  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    "… what is happening now doesn't to me compare to the feeling in 2004, after the marriage bans, when marriage equality felt light years away."

    Well, it's not much different, if at all, in terms of the animosity they harbor toward us. It still feels awfully darn hurtful to be hated so vehemently. I wish they could see us as people and neighbors, rather than as enemies.

  • 24. Decided_Voter  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    When I look at how their side did in holding other minorities back and disparaging them in the past, I can see what their future is and how the story will likely play out or should I say, is already playing out.

  • 25. 1grod  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Rick: Sadly the LGBT community has many more issues than marriage to be enjoined: ie employment, housing and access to services. But if heightened scrutiny for sexual orientation can be gained through Marriage Equality, even rational basis with bite, discrimination in these areas may be easier to redress. The mentality of US and THEM will not die when LGBT's issues are resolved. There will be another minority to scapegoat/vilify.

  • 26. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Heightened scrutiny is an improvement, but it's only a step on the road to the final destination: strict scrutiny. Let's keep that in mind.

  • 27. Elihu_Bystander  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    "The mentality of US and THEM will not die when LGBT's issues are resolved. There will be another minority to scapegoat/vilify."

    OT but related.

    And indeed such a marginalized group already exists–the undocumented immigrant. New Mexico's governor is advocating repealing New Mexico's issuing of drivers licences to undocumented aliens. She calls the existing law dangerous.

    The opposite is actually true. By having divers licences, they also have insurance. If they don't have drivers licences they can't get insurance and they will drive anyway.

  • 28. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 27, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Good luck in getting a bigoted GOTPer to understand logic.

  • 29. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I suppose Decided_Voter's pollyanna view offers some comfort. But from my perspective, the 2004 bans have made it more difficult not less to gain equal rights. I agree that we will ultimately triumph, but damned if I am going to thank George W. Bush or Anita Bryant, both of whom might in a bizarre universe get some credit for helping us organize.

    I mention Anita Bryant because today is her birthday. As the linked article points out, her anti-gay activism helped energize the gay rights movement, but I damn sure am not going to give her any cheers.

  • 30. Decided_Voter  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Most progress and strength attained by minorities seems to come from banding together to organize and strategize against the resistance they've experienced from others to gain progress and strength. Seems to be the way it's worked so far – sans pollyanna. One can acknowledge that without cheering or thanking them.

  • 31. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Yes, you are right about that, and I don't mean to negate that important point. You are no doubt correct to focus on the big picture. But damned if I am going to thank George W. Bush or Anita Bryant, both of whom might in the perspective of a big picture deserve some credit for spurring us to organize and fight back.

  • 32. Zack12  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    The only thing George W and Bryant (among others) deserve is contempt.

  • 33. Zack12  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    The bans did help our side in the long run but in the short term, it hurt so many same sex couples and no doubt pushed some vunerable LGBT youth into suicide.
    When you see so much hatred directed towards you, you'll think there is no way out and take your life.
    I hate the bigots for things like that, I truly do.

  • 34. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I -might- give her a cheer – a Bronx cheer.

  • 35. 1grod  |  March 25, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Proposed order would include such language as found in plaintiff's response brief: Strawser v Strange Exhibit B p 4:
    If Lead Plaintiffs and members of the Plaintiff Class take all steps that are required in the normal course of business as a prerequisite to issuing a marriage license to opposite-sex couples, Lead Defendants Judge Don Davis and Judge Tim Russell and the members of the Defendant Class may not deny them a license on the ground that Lead Plaintiffs and the members of the Plaintiff Class are same-sex couples or because it is prohibited by the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act or by any other Alabama law or Order, including any injunction issued by the Alabama Supreme Court pertaining to same-sex marriage. This injunction binds Lead Defendants Judge Don Davis and Judge Tim Russell and the members of the Defendant Class, and all their officers, agents, servants and employees, and others in active concert or participation with any of them, who would seek to enforce the marriage laws of Alabama which prohibit or fail to recognize same-sex marriage.
    OUTCOME: MARRIAGE FOR ALL OR NONE? Does the last clause address recognition of out of state marriages?

  • 36. jpmassar  |  March 25, 2015 at 11:19 am


    AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers are scheduled to debate a bill Wednesday that aims to bar county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples — even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down state marriage bans as expected in June.

    The “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act," by GOP Rep. Cecil Bell, would remove authority over marriage licenses from elected county clerks and place it with the appointed secretary of state. It would also prohibit state or local funds from being used to license, register, certify or support same-sex marriage…

    The bill is one of more than 20 anti-LGBT measures introduced in the Texas Legislature this year, the most in the history of any state.

  • 37. guitaristbl  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Will be stricked down before it reaches a federal district court. Glad that lawmakers are spending time on a blatantly unconstitutional measures. I hope the Texas voters are happy.

  • 38. 1grod  |  March 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Given that Searcy and Strawser originating from the Southern District Court are on Appeals on merits at the 11 Circuit Court, it is my understanding Middle District Judge Keith Watkins [hearing Hard v Strange], and Northern District Judges William Acker [hearing Hathcote v Green], and David Proctor [hearing Aaron-Bush v Bentley] can make their own determination of the constitutionality of AL Marriage Amendment and Marriage Protection Act. Does that put Granade's judgment at risk?

  • 39. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    No, because district court decisions are non-binding on other district courts. They can only dismiss the cases because they find the Alabama MA & MPA to be constitutional. There won't be any new federal injunction creating penalties for those who facilitate same-sex marriages.

  • 40. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Or they can give a 'pro-forma' ruling in favor of the bigots, then the case is appealed to the 11CA.

    I'm not saying they will, but I also am not stating what I wish, unlike some who seem to wish the Alabama MA & MPA to be considered to be constitutional.

  • 41. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    We are talking worst case here. The Alabama MA & MPA are obviously unconstitutional, but some federal judges (Scalia & Thomas at SCOTUS, William Pryor at 11th DCA, etc.) just don't understand the Constitution very well.

  • 42. 1grod  |  March 25, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Ian, dismissed or not; and as you say below we are positing a worse case scenario, an adverse ruling would be a Disaster! How could the Southern District Court, seeking to act on behalf of the plaintiffs across the state and 68 defendant probate judges, be viewed by the citizens of the state as credible when another federal court judge in the State as well as the State Supreme Court ruled otherwise. I do not think Judge Granade should act before Judge Acker has ruled. Perhaps this is why Sandra Lovelace Blackburn found a way to recused herself in Hathcote v Green . Just saying YUCK!

  • 43. ianbirmingham  |  March 25, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    The citizens of Alabama re-elected Roy Moore as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court AFTER he lost that same job by moronically insisting on a Ten Commandments monument inside the courtroom. Alabama's education system ranks 48th out of the 50 states. How can any rational person view the majority opinion of the citizens of this state as credible? If you are waiting for the citizens of Alabama to evolve to the same level as the citizens of The Netherlands, you should expect a very, very long wait…

  • 44. 1grod  |  March 26, 2015 at 6:15 am

    Ian: What's fact is that 51 probate judges minus Don Davis, and he too could be included because his office issued marriage licenses beyond the original 4 plaintiff – accepted on legal faith the ruling of Judge C. Granade. Had not Chief Justice Roy Moore intervened, more county judges were expected to issue licenses in the coming days including Houston Co. What's also on the record is that citizens were not in mass protest. As well, the's editorial and other media endorsed the change. An Opinion Poll place that state's citizens solidity in favour. As an outside observer, in the face of social change that carried a religious overlay, I think your statement "How can any rational person view the majority opinion of the citizens of this state as credible" is worthy of a rethink. With 77% in favour to 13% against Equality – in an acknowledged less-than-scientific poll, but a preliminary indicator of people's attitudes, the 'very, very long wait' you expect may be just around the corner, perhaps it's now. I've saved my best rebuttal point to the last – Scottie Thomaston of Baldwin Co is a model AL citizen I've heard and he and his buddies endorses Equality Now in AL.

  • 45. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 27, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    So the opinion of the people is more important than a law being Constitutional?

    If we left it up to the people, many places in the US still would not allow African-Americans to vote unless and until they went through lots and lots of hoops; Jim Crow laws would still be on the books in several states; several states would just ignore the 13th Amendment and still have slavery; etc.

  • 46. VIRick  |  March 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    "Scottie Thomaston of Baldwin Co is a model AL citizen. I've heard and he and his buddies endorse Equality Now in AL."

    Yes, indeed, he is,– and they do!!!

  • 47. jm64tx  |  March 26, 2015 at 2:13 am

    "They can only dismiss the cases because they find the Alabama MA & MPA to be constitutional. "

    A minor point … if the plaintiffs fail to prove their case, it would not be dismissed. They would instead end up with judgment that the plaintiffs "take nothing".

  • 48. 1grod  |  March 26, 2015 at 7:14 am

    With Kelvin Hathcote & Joseph Hill v Green moving a voluntary motion to dismiss 3/24/15, and Hard v Strange stayed, and Aaron-Bush about recognition of an existing marriage (2012), my concerns about contradictory rulings can be set aside. Bring it on Judge Ginny!

  • 49. sfbob  |  March 25, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    California AG Kamala Harris may not be able to refuse to issue a title and summary to the "Sodomite Suppression Act" ballot measure but she has now announced her intention to have the state courts issue a ruling that would basically prohibit the proponent from gathering signatures.

    Here's a link…

    And here's a quote:

    This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society. Today, I am filing an action for declaratory relief with the Court seeking judicial authorization for relief from the duty to prepare and issue the title and summary for the 'Sodomite Suppression Act.' If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.

  • 50. StraightDave  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    And this differs from the "Niggra[sic] Suppression Act" exactly how?

  • 51. JayJonson  |  March 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Do you know what Court she is seeking relief from? The California Supreme Court or another state court?

  • 52. sfbob  |  March 25, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    As far as I can tell her press release didn't specify. I could be wrong but I assume she'd go directly to the CA Supreme Court.

    Updated and corrected. The complaint is being filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Sacramento. Here's a link to the filing:

  • 53. SimmieK  |  March 26, 2015 at 6:53 am

    As well as filing this lawsuit (which I wholeheartedly endorse), there is one other thing she should do: initiate disbarment proceedings against Matt McLaughlin. He is an utterly reprehensible individual with extremely evil views, but I doubt that alone is legal grounds to disbar him (First Amendment, etc). However, he either has such a poor knowledge of constitutional law (especially Romer v Evans, Lawrence v Texas and Kennedy v. Louisiana) that he is unfit to practice law, or else, he deliberately filed a ballot initiative proposal knowing that it was blatantly unconstitutional, thereby wasting the time and resources of both the Attorney General and the Superior Court, which arguably amounts to professional misconduct.

  • 54. JayJonson  |  March 26, 2015 at 9:37 am

    The ceo of a 4 billion dollar corporation announced the company was pulling out of Indiana as a result of the Governor signing the "religious liberty" bill. He apparently does not share the belief of ianbirmingham that the bill is benign.

  • 55. davepCA  |  March 26, 2015 at 10:04 am


  • 56. ianbirmingham  |  March 26, 2015 at 10:13 am

    This CEO is seriously misinformed. As I already pointed out in another thread:

    gay couples cannot sue an Indiana bakery for discriminating against them, either before or after the passage of RFRA. In fact, in Indianapolis, one year ago, there was a documented case of legal bakery discrimination against a gay couple: "Businesses in Indiana can lawfully discriminate against and refuse to do business with individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

    He runs a software company that was founded in San Francisco. Despite Indiana's Purdue University being the first university in the world to offer a computer science degree, rural states in general have a hard time attracting tech talent. Indiana's recent rhetoric certainly adds to the problem, but the RFRA legislation itself does not. Connecticut and Rhode Island – both very progressive states in the heart of New England – have state RFRAs.

  • 57. Mike_Baltimore  |  March 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Sorry to be a bearer of bad information to you, Ian, but Indiana is NOT a rural state. There are 44 states with less population density than Indiana, including several with larger populations (in some cases MUCH larger, such as Michigan and Texas).

  • 58. ianbirmingham  |  March 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    The point about population density is correct. And looking at metropolitan areas, Indianapolis ranks #29 in the country with about 2-1/2 million people.

  • 59. RnL2008  |  March 26, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Sorry to be off-topic, but this could be important. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has stated that if SCOTUS rules in our favor in June, he is asking for Christians to rise up in violent protest:

    Between this news and the proposed initiative here in California……it could get ugly, but at the same time, all of this stuff happening before oral arguments in April could backfire on the anti-gay bigots by truly showing SCOTUS the ANIMUS we have been stating for a long time.

  • 60. DeadHead  |  March 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    On a related note, southeast Missouri Presbyterian churches have received letters threatening to burn their buildings to the ground following the Presbyterian Church USA’s decision last week to amend its constitution to perform same-sex marriages.

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