New Indiana law offensive, troublesome

Erin Fox, Managing Editor

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence introduced last month the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” to his state. It’s exactly what the name suggests – a pompous bill for pious people.

It would have allowed any business, whether an individual or an entire corporation, to legally refuse to serve gay and lesbian patrons by citing that the potential patron’s gender preference/orientation disagrees with the business’ religious beliefs.

Gov. Pence rightfully received a whiplash of national criticism after the bill’s introduction, which he believes protects businesses that do not want to serve those who identify as LGBTQ.

Bottom line: discrimination would be allowed to legally take place under this bill. The top priority of a business is to make money. Why would they choose discriminate against homosexual clients for the sole reason that their sexual preferences differ?

This just results in less profit for the business, at the cost of discriminating against customers.

The original bill was heavily criticized by Indiana-based corporate giants, such Walmart, NCAA and NASCAR.

Governors and mayors across the country voiced their displeasure toward the legislation, while musicians canceled scheduled tour dates, although I have no idea why a political figure or celebrity would voluntarily make an appearance in Indiana anyway.

In order to save the state of Indiana’s reputation and economy, Gov. Pence was practically forced to urge lawmakers to edit the bill in order to appease its opponents.

On April 2, Gov. Pence signed the revised version of the bill to clarify that “businesses cannot use the legislation as a justification based on the client’s sexual orientation,” according to washingtonpost.com.

The law is set to go into effect July 1, which is perfect timing so that no gays or lesbians may be denied ice cream from a vendor on a scathing summer’s day.

Gov. Pence fits the description of a typical member of Congress: a white Republican in his mid-50s who very well may have never had a gay friend in his life, especially since he lives in the mostly white Republican state of Indiana.

However, something that now causes him to differ from your average lily-livered senator is that he is no longer a contender for president.

The Washington Post recently removed him from their Top 10 GOP candidates for 2016, describing him as “radioactive” and suggesting he spend his time and energy rehabilitating his now tarnished image.

Now that he’s eliminated, the saying “any publicity is good publicity” is proven to be false.

But why should Cal High students care about Gov. Pence and what goes on in the Hoosier state?

Besides the fact that we live just a few miles away from San Francisco,  ranked No. 3 on “America’s Most LBGT-Friendly Cities” Queer Index by Vocativ, many Cal students recently participated in the national Day of Silence on campus.

It’s incredibly relevant that we continue to remind ourselves as a student body that we have both classmates and faculty that may identify as LGBTQ and are affected by the decisions made in states throughout the country.

The discrimination of gays, lesbians, and all others that identify somewhere on the spectrum is unlawful and frustrating to an ally such as myself.

Discriminating because of someone’s sexual orientation or romantic preference is just as serious and outdated as discriminating against someone because of their race, gender, age or handicap.

The next presidential candidates that are anti-LGBTQ cannot identify with a huge amount of the voting population; namely those under 30.

By the time the 2016 presidential election rolls around, half of the current student body will be eligible to vote, most of whom will find it difficult to throw their support behind a candidate who does not support LGBTQ rights.

Governor Pence, enjoy your position of power for now. It’s doubtful you’ll be re-elected.