Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Kim Davis Is Not a Patriot

The gathering of Davis’ supporters and their anti-American signs are no different from the “Death to America” rallies we see in some foreign countries (Additional info about presidential contenders Cruz, Huckabee, Jindal, Paul and Walker has been published here.) Time.com By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 9/7/15 The martyr business in America is booming. It’s a growth industry, like yoga pants, prisons and celebrity nip-slip sites. Caterers, cake-makers, pizza shops, hobby stores and others are publicly throwing themselves on the righteous sword of spiritual indignation—but only when there are media cameras nearby to … Continue reading

Goshen, Indiana is a flashpoint in LGBT rights fight

Battle in small town signals upcoming statewide debate How a small Indiana city became a gay rights battleground IndyStar.com By Stephanie Wang 8/3/15 GOSHEN — In a cradle of conservatism about 150 miles northeast of Indianapolis, a powerful lobbyist stood up inside a church and declared Elkhart County the next political battleground in Indiana. What happens in Elkhart and Goshen with gay rights, he said, would set the stage for what could happen statewide. “You’re in the middle of this,” conservative lobbyist Eric Miller of Advance America told the Calvary … Continue reading

Why some religious leaders fear RFRA

Some minority faiths worry that Indiana’s religious freedom law may encourage discrimination. IndyStar.com By Stephanie Wang and Madeline Buckley 7/1/15 Was the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ever supposed to be about same-sex marriage and marijuana? The loud, polemic narrative around Indiana’s religious freedom law, which goes into effect Wednesday, has been dominated by deep-pocketed conservative Christians and one particularly charismatic pot evangelist. But what about the Jewish man wanting to wear his yarmulke, who was cited in the original arguments for the state RFRA? What about the Amish buggy driver … Continue reading

Who is First Church of Cannabis founder Bill Levin?

SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR BILL LEVIN LAUNCHES JULY 1 HOLY WAR ON INDIANA’S MARIJUANA LAWS IndyStar.com (IndyStar site includes graphics and videos.) By Mark Alesia and Tim Evans 6/27/15 As Indiana’s Pied Piper of pot and founder of The First Church of Cannabis, Bill Levin naturally inspires elbow-nudging jokes about his church’s holy sacrament. Yes, Levin has “high” expectations for the new church. Marketing is “baked” into his persona. To be “blunt,” he looks the part of a stoner, with his unkempt shock of white hair, ever-present cigar and hippie-dippy raps on love … Continue reading

Defiant Pence vows to be tough campaigner in re-election bid

IndyStar.com By Tony Cook 6/19/15 A defiant Gov. Mike Pence pledged, despite poor poll numbers after a high-profile controversy over the state’s new religious freedom law, to fight his political opponents — even if it means running a less positive campaign than the one he ran in 2012. “I will ensure our state remains true to those ideals, but we will not cower to intolerance from any quarter,” he told a friendly crowd of about 800 people at the Indiana Republican Party’s Spring Dinner. “For those expecting a campaign like … Continue reading

(Indiana) State Sen. Karen Tallian announces bid for governor

Tallian says she will run as a progressive voice with an emphasis on women’s pay and economic success for all Hoosiers. Indystar.com By Brian Eason 5/12/15 Declaring that Indiana “is not as conservative” as many believe, state Sen. Karen Tallian said Tuesday she plans to seek the Democratic nomination for governor to give Hoosiers a progressive voice in the 2016 election. “I’m running because it’s time to step up for everyday Hoosiers,” she said at a campaign announcement on the Statehouse steps. “We can sit back and wait for progress, … Continue reading

Indiana must find a way to deal with big issues

State must find a way to deal with big issues The Indianapolis Star By John Ketzenberger 5/10/15 It already seems like an eon has passed since the Indiana General Assembly called it quits on a tumultuous session just 10 days ago. Is it too soon to start looking ahead? The simple answer is no, there are a lot of important issues that should get more time and attention from lawmakers, including transportation funding, rationalizing the tax structure between local and state government, and ensuring the state’s tax revenue streams are … Continue reading

The Utah way: Religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws

Deseret News
By Dennis Romboy

Utah, Indiana religious freedom laws not alike

SALT LAKE CITY — Cheers rang out when Utah passed a religious freedom and anti-discrimination bill last month.

SB296 drew praise from a wide range of groups in the state and across the country, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization.

But in Indiana, a newly passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act has drawn resounding jeers.
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The Ind’pls Star: “…more cities are considering their own protections of LGBT rights at the local level…”


Measures to protect locally are weak

Ordinances ‘lack teeth,’ are almost unenforceable, experts across state say

The Indianapolis Star
Stephanie Wang

In the absence of a state law banning discrimination against gays and lesbians — and in the explosive wake of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act controversy — more cities are considering their own protections of LGBT rights at the local level.

Although Marion County and 10 other Hoosier communities already have local nondiscrimination ordinances that include sexual orientation, experts say such protections can be so weak that they are virtually unenforceable.
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The 8 days since “Religious Freedom” passage March 26th: ANALYSIS & REFLECTION

Today the Indianapolis Star published a six page spread examining the multi-faceted upheavel that was triggered by the Indiana Legislature upon the original passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when signed by Governor Mike Pence on March 26, 2015.
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