Thursday, April 2, 2015

Freedom of association victim of new Indiana law

Freedom of Association Is Burned at the Stake in Indiana - Deroy Murdock,  National Review:

April 1, 2015 - "The only identifiable victim of Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act is the First Amendment’s Freedom of Association clause. Like Joan of Arc, it has been burned at the stake.... In the name of nondiscrimination, Republican governor Mike Pence has surrendered to the angry mobs....

"Despite RFRA’s similarity to a 22-year-old federal statute and laws in 18 other states, liberal activists and journalists have distorted Indiana’s measure into an alleged anti-gay hit list.

"It never helps that laws like this one focus solely on the rights of religious people. As vital as religious liberty is, what about the rights of the 25 percent of Americans who have no faith?... The sorts of freedoms shielded by Indiana’s new law — and nearly identical pieces of legislation heralded by the ACLU, signed by President Clinton, and supported by Obama in the Illinois state senate — should be protected for all Americans, be they religious, agnostic, atheist, confused, or otherwise. Freedom of Association belongs to all Americans, via the First Amendment, not only those who happen to be religious....

"In the public sector, the government must administer equal justice under the law and treat all Americans equally. Thus, the anti-gay discrimination of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell deserved to end. Likewise, ... government should not discriminate against gay couples when handing out marriage licenses....

"The private sector, such as it is, is something different. Private individuals on private property should be free to associate with whom and without whom they wish. Just because someone runs a business or is part of a private group or organization does not mean that she surrenders her rights or becomes a mere appendage of government."

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