"Only bold action—action that sends an unmistakable message to the world that our state will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens—will be enough to reverse the damage," write the editors at the Indianapolis Star today. And bold action is what they took: Their editorial on the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act takes up the entirety of today's front page. In their piece, they call on Gov. Mike Pence "to stop clinging to arguments about whether RFRA really does what critics fear" and "to focus instead on fixing this"—and soon, even if it means calling a special General Assembly session after the regular session ends in April. And yes, "fixing": They outline three reasons why the law shouldn't be repealed outright, including that doing so wouldn't "move the state forward." What other papers are saying:
- As the New York Times' editorial board puts it, "the tactic of using so-called religious freedom laws to justify and support anti-gay discrimination is relatively new." In the past, such discrimination happened "openly" via gay-marriage bans that are now ceasing to exist in many places, including Indiana. "In the past, racial discrimination was also justified by religious beliefs, yet businesses may not refuse service to customers because of their race. Such behavior should be no more tolerable when it is based on sexual orientation."
- The Wall Street Journal sees a "paradox" in our nation: We're now more tolerant of gays but less tolerant of those with "traditional views." It invokes history, too: When the federal version of the RFRA "passed in 1993, liberal outfits like the ACLU were joined at the hip with the Christian Coalition. Liberals used to understand that RFRA, with its balancing test, was a good-faith effort to help society compromise on contentious moral disputes. That liberals are renouncing it 20 years after celebrating it says more about their new intolerance than about anyone in Indiana."
(Read more Indiana