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Indianapolis v. Indiana

Indianapolis Welcomes You!

…even if the rest of the state doesn’t.

For those just joining us: on March 26, 2015, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a variant of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act intended for application at the state level, but the entire affair was conducted under, um, unique circumstances that have resulted in 90% of my Twitter feed turning into serious headlines and snarky generalizations alike that collectively amount to “INDIANA R STUPID HUUUUUUUUR!”

Pence fumbled his first attempt at damage control Sunday morning on live national TV, and even earned himself the attention of The Onion, which is never a sign of victory for your side. He and/or his speechwriters penned a second try that’s online now and scheduled for publication in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal.

Early prediction, based on the excerpts I’ve seen: it won’t help.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and the Indianapolis City-County Council aren’t sitting still for this. As numerous local and national corporations of impressive size and power express their outrage and economic threats, tonight the Republican Ballard and the mostly Democrat Council gathered before a standing-room-only crowd and voted to semi-cordially ask Pence and the Indiana General Assembly to, in so many words, KNOCK IT OFF. Several Republican members were on board with this.

In a Council of 28 members the resolution required more than fourteen votes to pass. Even before the vote, it had sixteen co-sponsors.

So we’re effectively looking at a schism between the state and capital city governments.

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Mr. and Mrs. Kay’s Very Bad Indiana Shopping Trip

Pence RFRA signing, 3/26/2015

The actual Indiana Governor’s Office photo from today’s behind-closed-doors ceremony for Governor Mike Pence’s signing of the RFRA. No Photoshop or verified cosplayers were involved in the making of this picture.

[The scene: Kip and Kasi Kay travel from their hometown of Lewiston, Indiana, to do some shopping at a quaint stretch of stores up in the Big City. It’s the weekend after Governor Mike Pence signed Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law and dramatically improved the world and changed lives and ushered in a new era of human greatness and so on.]

KIP: Hello, beer man! We would like ten kegs of your finest brew.
KASI: We need it for tonight’s white-power rally.
LIQUOR STORE OWNER: What? Uh, no. You can go now.
KASI: But we have money and we brought our own truck.
LIQUOR STORE OWNER: Sorry, no. My church believes God created all humans as equals regardless of skin color. I can’t possibly.
KIP: We didn’t ask. Here, have money.
LIQUOR STORE OWNER: No can do. RFRA, folks.
KIP: What’s a roofra?
LIQUOR STORE OWNER: New law just took effect. Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Way I took it to mean, I don’t have to make any sale that offends me on religious grounds. Racists are one way.
KASI: You only sell to non-racists? Do you actually ask everyone? Is there a test they have to take before you’ll let customers go get drunk?
LIQUOR STORE OWNER: Who I sell to and when I sell it to ’em is my business. Good day, folks.
KIP: We’ll get you for this!
LIQUOR STORE OWNER: Wouldn’t advise it. I’m in the alcohol industry. I know some people you don’t wanna know.
[Kip and Kasi exit, confused and upset. Later that night, an angel leaves a quarter under Mike Pence’s pillow.]

Right this way for more of this very special MCC short play…

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