AKA: An open letter to Nick Offerman, Wilco, and everyone else canceling or considering canceling their events throughout Indiana.
I am a Hoosier. Most days, I’m proud to be one. I am a Christian, and I’m also proud to be one. Lately, though…I’m not proud to be a Hoosier. And I cringe when I look at some of the Christians around me. Signing SB101, aka the Religion Freedom Restoration Act, disgusts me.
I understand that it’s also a federal law, and that other states have similar laws. But other states also list the LGBT community as a protected class under the law. Indiana does not.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Indiana’s Gov. Mike Pence couldn’t even answer one simple “Yes or No” question: “Do you think it should be legal in the state of Indiana to discriminate against gays or lesbians?”
Another question he dodged answering? “Does that mean that Christians who want to refuse service, or people of any other faith who want to refuse service to gays and lesbians, that it’s now legal in the state of Indiana? That’s a simple yes or no question.”
Something he had no problem answering? “One fix that people have talked about is simply adding sexual orientation as a protected class under the state’s civil rights laws. Will you push for that?”
“I will not push for that,” he answers. “That’s not on my agenda.”
I do not support Mike Pence.
Indiana signed into law the RFRA, despite many citizens’ pleas for Pence to veto it, or the many outcries now for it to be repealed. They won’t repeal it. This is just one instance where my voice isn’t being heard.
My plea now goes to those in support of #BoycottIndiana. I understand what you’re doing, I really do. You want to show that you don’t support discrimination. I don’t either, so I understand.
The problem is, there are countless Hoosiers with the same stance I have. There are so many of us who love and accept all members of the LGBT community. And by canceling your events, you are punishing us. You are punishing those of us who stand against the bill but live in Indiana. Some of us are tied here by family or jobs. We can’t just leave on a whim. And some of us are working hard to make ends meet, but wanted to treat ourselves to your events. We can afford to go when it’s in our own state or city, but some of us don’t have the options to drive a few hours away for your events. Especially if they’re late at night, meaning we may have to stay somewhere else overnight.
Some of these people may even be members of the LGBT community who you’re trying to support. Instead, you’re punishing them, just because they live in Indiana.
Stop boycotting Indiana. Because when you do, you’re not boycotting the state. You’re boycotting the innocent Hoosiers who happen to live here, even if they don’t support the state right now either.
I hope that this time, my voice will be heard.