As you’ve likely heard, Indiana passed a piece of legislation that opens the door to potential discrimination of LGBTQ persons under the guise of religious freedom. The backlash from the public has been swift and severe. Politicians, businesses, thought leaders and citizens from across the country have condemned the law for rekindling the same brute discrimination we had hoped to do away with during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
We won’t belabor the details of the law—it’s being well reported elsewhere—but let’s break it down quickly:
Anti-gay activists are grasping at straws. In an effort to fight a losing battle, they put forth bills in state legislatures that would protect individuals and businesses from legal action if they claimed a religious aversion to LGBTQ people. It’s that simple. There’s no wiggle room.
The existence of these laws in certain corners of our country is the last gasp of narrow mindedness in the face of dramatically more enlightened public attitudes and sweeping gains for LGBTQ persons seeking equal rights under the law.
At Ben & Jerry’s, we believe the Indiana law is outdated, but we are so heartened by the response across the United States. People like you aren’t willing to let things slide! The chorus of voices condemning this law is overwhelming. States are banning state-sponsored travel to Indiana, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out forcefully against the law being passed, companies are pulling out of proposed expansions in Indiana, and numerous celebrities, the NCAA and NASCAR have spoken out!
What this week has shown is that citizen activism can be incredibly powerful. A misguided law can be changed. Mistakes can be rectified. The long march towards equality and a better world is attainable.
We urge everyone to stay focused on the Indiana law, on the similar laws being proposed in other states, including Arkansas, and to keep the pressure on our politicians to defend the constitution and the rights of ALL Americans.