Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Discrimination in Indiana vs. Minnesota

Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act law has created an incredible amount of controversy. Many, including quite a few business leaders, believe the law will allow discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, an owner of a ballroom might not rent the room out for a gay marriage celebration because she could claim doing so violated her religious convictions. The reaction has been swift and strong. Angie's list has put on hold expansion plans for its corporate headquarters, San Francisco and Seattle have banned city funded travel to the state and the NCAA is considering moving the final four out of the state. 

A similar law would have pretty much zero chance of passage in Minnesota. Minnesotans are way too progressive. Or maybe we just discriminate in different ways. Judges in Family Court can rule based on whatever they want.  They can base their decisions on race, region, gender, sexual orientation, weight, or how well they like one of the lawyers. Or even how much one of the lawyers contributed to his campaign. They are even free to ignore criminal actions committed in their court.  And unless they overtly state the reason they ruled the way they did was discriminatory, there is not even a basis for appeal. This is not a good system. To fix this we need better laws

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