Christian Church Will Take Convention To Better State Than Anti-Gay Indiana, For Religious Freedom
Yesterday we learned that the organizers of Gen Con, a huge gamer convention that brings about $50 million a year in tourism moneys to Indianapolis, are threatening to pick up and leave Indiana once their contract with the state expires, because Gov. Mike Pence promised to sign a backward bill that says it will guarantee "religious freedom," but is in a reality a license for the most horrible residents of Indiana to discriminate against LGBT people by denying service, accommodations and whatnot. Gov. Pence has now made good on that promise, signing the bill Thursday morning in a "private ceremony." Good for the Gen Con folks, because an Indiana with a "Fuck You Gays" bill doesn't deserve tourism money. But now a true House Of The Lord is ALSO threatening to take their convention to a better state. Yes, you read that right. A Christian denomination, the Disciples Of Christ to be exact, wrote a letter to the governor saying, "Sorry, we follow Jesus," because apparently a law designed to discriminate against a minority goes against their Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs:
"Our perspective is that hate and bigotry wrapped in religious freedom is still hate and bigotry," Todd Adams, the associate general minister and vice president of the Indianapolis-based denomination, told The Indianapolis Star.
Adams said the Disciples of Christ would instead seek a host city that is "hospitable and welcome to all of our attendees."
The Disciples of Christ has held its annual convention in Indianapolis three times since 1989. Adams expected about 8,000 to attend in 2017. VisitIndy estimated the economic impact at $5.9 million.
The Disciples Of Christ, of which we used to be a member, has been progressive on The Gays for quite a while, so we are not surprised to see them take this position. And while their conference isn't as huge as Gen Con, if you add their six-odd million to Gen Con's fifty million, well, that is a lot of dollars Indiana's wingnut governor is fixin' to pissing away, just to satisfy a frothing minority of anti-gay bigots with IQs approximately the same as whatever temperature it is in Indianapolis today.
According to the Indianapolis Star, said bigots just don't understand why everybody is being so mean about the fact that they want to be able to deny service to gays:
Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana pushed for the measure in Indiana. He discounts the idea of substantial financial fallout.
"I just don't see how this prevents conventions from coming here," Clark said. Popular convention cities such as Chicago, Orlando, Phoenix and New Orleans are located in states with similar (religious freedom) laws in effect, and there's no outcry by convention organizers to pull out of those locations, he said.
Oh dear stupid Micah Clark. Arizona's Fuck You Gays bill was vetoed by then-Gov. Jan Brewer, for similar reasons! Also, Indiana's law reportedly differs because it actually gives Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs to businesses, not just individuals, because as we learned in the Citizens United case, corporations are people. Some businesses have been baptized in the blood of the Lord, while others, like drug manufacturer Eli Lilly (which is headquartered in Indiana and opposes the state's Fuck You Gays bill), are apparently lost heathens. Hopefully, somebody will sit Eli Lilly down and tell them about their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, so that the pharmaceutical giant may be saved.
One would think a pro-business governor like Pence would be watching all these tourism dollars slip away and say, "you know, maybe a law that allows idiots to deny service to a minority group isn't such a good idea," but Pence was undeterred, and signed the bill to appease the idiots, including himself, who think gays are destroying Religious Freedom. This, even though the Republican mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard, is also opposed to the bill. Clearly, Mayor Ballard, Eli Lilly, the Disciples Of Christ, and a bunch of dork gamers haven't gotten the message that gay-hatin' takes precedence over ALL THINGS, and that gay-bashing is an act of worship for Real Christians.
Well done, Disciples Of Christ. Go have your convention somewhere nice, like every other place in the world besides Indiana.