Indiana’s new law providing for the practice of religious freedom is not really a new law at all, but joined at the hip with bipartisan legislation – Religious Freedom Restoration Act - passed in 1993 and signed by President Clinton. That law clarified and underlined the Constitution’s provision for not letting government define religious preferences and practices. Indiana’s legislation abets what 19 other states already have on their books.
But for me the real question is the freedom to practice what you believe and what is taught by your faith. The Constitution guarantees such freedoms as long as they do not deny others the practice of their equally guaranteed freedoms. And most certainly Indiana’s law will not prevent its LGTB contingent from doing their thing that includes getting supportive services from numerous suppliers who are ready, willing, and able.
If I operate a legal business, I want to have the maximum latitude in choosing my suppliers, determining my inventory, hiring my workers, and servicing my customers. I want my competition and customers to drive my business decisions, not the state. And that includes deciding to whom I will sell or not. I can see the state entering this equation only for national security considerations – e.g. if I invent a super weapon, I may not sell to anyone I choose.
Indiana’s law will clearly allow business owners to discriminate among their potential customers based on their religious beliefs; to deny that is ludicrous. But so what? Businesses can already deny service for numerous less salutary reasons – ‘No shoes, no shirt, no service.’ And that still is not the important point here.
Some on the Left argue that since a business is registered/permitted by the state, it is in some way a public utility and must cater to all of the public. That argument leads directly to the removal of the last vestiges of private property. And violating that side of the Bastiat Triangle (q.v.) first weakens and then collapses the remaining two – liberty and security in your person. The state will then constructively own us lock, stock, and barrel – a sought after conclusion to the organization of society as held by many (most?) progressives.
So encourage the LGTB folks to buy their wedding cakes from the many who will gladly supply them. And if some merchant refuses my patronage because I am a Christian, or an immigrant, or …, let them - I will go somewhere else.
Finally, Indiana did not have to pass their religious freedom law since it already exists in the US Code. In the furtherance of states’ rights, all states should pass an amendment to their constitutions that simply allows them to practice prosecutorial discretion in the enforcement of any federal law they deem is not being adequately enforced by the federal government. That would handle all such cases and many more (including border security and illegal aliens). I submit this latter recommendation to the several states as part and parcel of the Rebane Doctrine.