And the Hospitality Continues…

In the wake of Governor Pence’s announcement that he didn’t want any of those shifty Syrians relocating here in Indiana, a friend sent me this article about former Governor Mitch Daniels talking fondly about his Syrian heritage…Worth a read.

Of course, it isn’t just Syrian refugees who aren’t getting a “welcome” sign from our unctuous Governor.

Yesterday was Organization Day at the Indiana Statehouse, and both proponents and opponents of adding LGBT Hoosiers  to the list of those protected under the state’s civil rights law showed up to make their voices heard.

There are a couple of things we can be sure of. 1) It will be a contentious session. And 2) Mike Pence will continue to oppose legal equality while insisting that he doesn’t condone discrimination, that he’s not anti-gay, he’s just all about religious liberty.

In anticipation of the Governor’s protestations, the Indiana Democratic Party has compiled and distributed this history of his efforts to marginalize the gay community just since  2000.

2000: During his congressional campaign, Mike Pence said, “Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.”

2000: Pence also supported the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only if federal dollars were excluded from organizations who “celebrate” and “encourage” behavior that facilitates spreading of the HIV virus. Further, Pence supported this reauthorization only if “those institutions provided assistance to those looking to change their sexual behavior”, an off-the-cuff endorsement for ex-gay conversion therapy.

2004: Mike Pence co-sponsored a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as solely between one man and one woman.

2007: Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

2010: Mike Pence voted against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal which allowed LGBT Americans to openly serve their country in military service.

2012: Pence refused to say on the record if he supported a same-sex couple raising a child together.

2014: Gov. Pence supported HJR-3, a bill to add an amendment banning same-sex marriage to Indiana’s Constitution.

2015: Governor Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in a closed-door ceremony.

2015: Governor Pence said on ABC’s “This Week” that it was “absolutely not” a mistake to sign RFRA, throwing Indiana into a $250 million economic panic and putting Indiana’s “Hoosier Hospitality” reputation in jeopardy.

2015: Even after his approval rating plummets from RFRA, Mike Pence on July 22 told the media he is “studying” the issue of LGBT rights and whether or not he’d support across the board protections for the LGBT community.

Gee, if that’s the way Pence acts when he doesn’t support legalized bias, what measures would the Governor support if he did support discrimination? Exile? Chemical castration?

It promises to be a very interesting session…


  1. Pence cherry-picks and chooses bits and pieces of legislation to fit his personal religious beliefs as he defines them. We are now faced with another Pence & Company “fix” of his RFRA fiasco last summer. Front page of the Star today; “RIGHTS BILL MAKES DEBUT”; included is a sub-headline article under the misleading term “rights” regarding LGBTs; titled “Scholarship Program”. The only connection I found is in the authorship of both…and of course the Republican connection. Chelsea Schneider co-authored the “rights bill” with Tony Cook and Stephanie Wang. Schneider alone authored the “scholarship program” which contains a clause similar to the earlier submitted Daniels education program that employers would financially support education of those who would commit to work for them after graduation. The Scholarship Program contains a clause stating, “Students envisioned to qualify for the scholarships are high school graduates in the top 20 percent of their class who choose to go to an education college in Indiana. Recipients will then need to commit to teaching in Hoosier classrooms for at least five years, Bosma said.” Exactly what is the connection to the “RIGHTS BILL MAKES DEBUT” regarding LGBT rights vs. religious rights…other than Chelsea Schneider and all those Republicans? Dazzle us with Republican confusion or is it their intention to combine these two issues into one bill?

    I find this particularly offensive:
    “2000: Pence also supported the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only if federal dollars were excluded from organizations who “celebrate” and “encourage” behavior that facilitates spreading of the HIV virus. Further, Pence supported this reauthorization only if “those institutions provided assistance to those looking to change their sexual behavior”, an off-the-cuff endorsement for ex-gay conversion therapy.”

    Copied and pasted from Wikipedia:
    “The Ryan White CARE Act mandates that EMS personnel can find out whether they were exposed to life-threatening diseases while providing care. (This notification provision was included in the original 1990 act, dropped in the 2006 reauthorization, and reinstated in the 2008 reauthorization).[5]”

  2. “legalized bias”

    That’s funny. That’s exactly what the militant homosexuals are after to give them advantages anywhere an advantage can be created.

  3. What advantage, Gopper? Please explain. Seeking equal treatment does not mean seeking an advantage.

  4. Sheila – your tone and tenor are inflammatory, insulting and non-contributory to our civilization. You’re not helping your causes nor the discourse with such rhetoric. If you’re trying to start or flame a fire, you’re doing a good job. Is division and hatred what you aspire to accomplish?

    You wrote:
    “Gee, if that’s the way Pence acts when he doesn’t support legalized bias, what measures would the Governor support if he did support discrimination? Exile? Chemical castration?”

  5. Ron,

    “Gee, if that’s the way Pence acts when he doesn’t support legalized bias, what measures would the Governor support if he did support discrimination? Exile? Chemical castration?

    Should we place all Syrian Americans like we did the Japanese Americans in W.W. II in “pleasant” concentration camps. Based on past experiences here in America, wouldn’t that be a possible extension of Pence’s action?

    Isn’t that what Sheila was worried about? You know that or you should.

  6. Ron, this is what she does, every morning. It’s never a reasoned discussion about an issue. Sheila always chooses her side, first, then writes her column laced with invective and insult.

    She’s almost always wrong, but her seven fans love the catnip.

  7. This is a blog. You need to expect some bias, that’s why we read blogs. It is NOT titled, “An unbiased look at the world we live in.”

  8. Gopper,

    Who are you kidding? Sheila’s Blog is being observed all over the world. My websites are monitored so that I can tell the location of any visitor and whether or not they were introduced to my site thru SheilaKennedy. net.

    I can document that Sheila has very large audiences in Europe, especially, in Germany and Italy.

  9. Here is a thought – if you don’t like what Sheila is writing then go the hell to some other blog that makes you happy. Why in hell are you reading this blog just to take personal stabs and bitch at the owner of this blog just because you don’t like what she says.

  10. To the World,

    By the way, to make everyone sleep better, my monitoring only extends to city and country like Nuremberg Germany, Milan Italy or Mountain View U.S..

  11. Thanks, Marv. Can you trace the sites a little further to see if they are housed by the Red Brigade?

  12. Sheila – The arguments to permit discrimination are tired and old. Religion has been used as a defense for slavery, racial discrimination, discrimination against women, etc. My religion and the Governor’s commands us to treat others as we wish to be treated. Unless the Governor would like to be denied customer service from some businesses, he should outlaw discrimination for all. In fact, religion is his face saver. It’s where the constitutional commitment to “equal protection” overlaps the Christian commitment to the Golden Rule.

    Businesses want the benefit of public highways and streets, police and fire protections, reliable and safe water and sewer systems, zoning laws, etc. that all taxpayers finance. To then discriminate against some of those taxpayers who help pay for all those public services that make doing business possible is un-American and unconstitutional as well as inconsistent with the Governor’s chosen faith.

  13. I’ve said it before, but I think it’s worth repeating: It is not worth replying to trolls because it only encourages them; all they wish to do is stir the pot. I just ignore them; they are not worth my time. Liberté, égalité, fraternité!

  14. Gopper,

    Don’t complain to me. Complain to I didn’t ask for the monitoring. It comes with my websites. It’s Godaddy’s idea and not a bad one, I might say. You get a website and monitoring for marketing purposes for $12.00 a year. Not a bad deal.

    I guess I’m inviting an attack by Gopper for using the word “deal.” It shows my heritage bias. Right?

  15. Not to worry – governors are not presidents – they have no authority to decide who can come into this country or where they will alight. That is purely a federal issue, and more specifically, a decision for our president to make, and all because of that nasty little piece of paper called the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Strange, isn’t it, how these same governors who want to circumvent the plain language of the Constitution are quick to insist on the protection of that nasty document’s Second and Tenth Amendments? It adds up to a new dimension of the old saw that “It makes a difference in whose ox is being gored.” When discussing gun and state’s rights that nasty document is magically transformed into a sacred scroll paid for by the blood of our forefathers. When refugees are involved it’s as though these governors are illiterate grandstanders unable to read the plain language of that (nasty or sacred – take your pick) document, and having to listen to such claptrap from them is akin to listening to Casanova giving a speech on the virtue of chastity to employees of a house of ill fame.

    Many if not most of us are descended from refugees who fled from potato famine, British-style religion and royal dictatorship, Prussian militarism, poverty etc. Others from Africa are enforced refugees involuntarily brought here to perform cheap labor. Our predecessors, some of whom were indentured servants and inmates of debtors’ prisons, were shown some compassion by an America that needed labor and ingenuity to corral our resources, and they did a good job of it.

    My advice to these governors? While reading all of the Constitution beyond the Second and Tenth Amendments, take a look at the history of your own relatives who have come and gone. You may well find that you would not exist but for compassion shown to your “refugee” predecessors.

    Finally, it occurs to me that we already have millions of Americans who can fairly be called internal refugees in this country due to poverty, lack of opportunity and education, politically skewed distribution of the economy’s income and wealth etc. I have some questions for such governors. What are you governors doing about these problems – anything? When are you governors going to do your own jobs instead of butting into trying to do the jobs of others? Are you grandstanding to divert attention from your own sorry records? We “refugees” await your answers to such questions, and we are tired of waiting. When are you going to start doing your own jobs and knock off the political grandstanding? When? Ever?

  16. In his/her/its comments, Groper says “It’s all about me”. When you respond as if the individual wants to have a dialogue when he/she/it has no intention of doing that, you agee.

    I think this discussion was about Mr. Pence’s reluctance to serve the common good in the name of the Constitution, and Sheila displayed historical evidence which would lead to that conclusion. It’s tragic, not just that this is his position, but that he somehow thinks that it’s his religious duty to do that and mixes in being mean spirited and the reluctance to learn (In scripture, the book of Proverbs calls such a person a “fool”.) It sends a double message: that being mean spirited is a characteristic of our representative government as well as religious people. The worse part is that enough people agree with this travesty to support it at the ballot box.

  17. Freedom and its cohort democracy are tough pills for some to swallow. Think of poor King George so long ago who had to suffer the indignity of being told to take his aristocracy and shove it where the sun don’t shine. And Gopper today: all puffed up with superiority and nobody salutes.

    Liberals and conservatives wanting the same thing, liberals for everyone, is the real sticking point. Conservatives think what’s the sense of being superior if you don’t get treated as superior? Liberals think, you’re superior?

    Tough crowd.

    Pence’s point is that he is not a Syrian refugee, or LBGT, or Muslim, or a pacifist, or black so why should they have what he does? He’s a Christian for God’s sake!

    Conservatives think that there must be a way to have freedom for superior people without having to be treated like ordinary people. There is: all of the ‘ocracies except one; democracy; freedom for everyone.

    Those damn founders again imposing equality on the country. Liberté, égalité, fraternité sucks.

  18. Ohh the Hysteria of it all – Gee, if that’s the way Pence acts when he doesn’t support legalized bias, what measures would the Governor support if he did support discrimination? Exile? Chemical castration?

    I get it Pence and other Republicans do not like gay marriage, gay rights or PPP. Gay rights and Woman’s Rights need to be protected. The Democrats and the Left in Indiana need to come up with something more such as Legalize Pot, reduce the cost of higher education by expansion of the Junior College System, Pro-Union, end corporate welfare, etc. The Democrats would seem to be happy with being a super minority party as long as they can continue to be re-elected in the safe districts.

  19. Religious freedom has vastly differed beliefs gleaned from the same Biblical quotes; also the 1st Amendment freedom of religion is viewed in vastly different ways and makes vastly different demands on government and the public to follow their dictates.

    A news item on AOL reported the approval of a religion in Texas, Religion of the Spaghetti Monster (that is as close as I can remember the name) based on the belief that if there is a God…there is also a Spaghetti Monster. One woman fought and won the right to have her drivers license picture taken with a colander on her head…she is grinning and looking as foolish as you would expect someone with a colander on their head. My thoughts took me immediately to our local Church of the Cannabis; are both religions tax exempt? Didn’t Pence have to approve our local weed worshipers? If so; he has approved the use of an illegal substance but is working hard to control rights of same-sex couples whose orientation and practices are not illegal. All in the name of religion. Just sayin’

  20. Gopper,

    Like I said before, you have a right to exercise your First Amendment right to Free Speech. But what you remind me of, in doing so, are the “Nazi roughnecks” who barged in and interrupted the meetings of the courageous Germans who were trying to save their country from a preordained disaster in the early 30’s. You agree with that, don’t you?

    At least those Nazis were upfront and risked retaliation. I wouldn’t have called them cowards. But you risk nothing: an anonymous voice shielded by a computer monitor.

  21. Marv, again, you missed the point.

    Embarrassed by missing the point, you resort to grandstanding to cover for not understanding what was, in fact, your own words.

    How very Pete of you.

  22. Does anyone else find Gopper’s superiority act informative? He comes here daily preaching the gospel of how only those like him “get it” and, daily, gets shown the limitations of his thinking in the face of reality. But, using the cloak of not listening, he pretends that reality is not a limitation that he chooses.

    As a lab sample he’s great. He never learns or changes or adapts so the lab people can count on his faithful demonstration of the disease that he represents. He’s an iconic and prototypical conservatives and I think that we can count on that being alway true.

    The perfect lab specimen for disection.

    We are lucky to have him.

  23. “They were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates, now they’re worried about 3 year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me… They’ve been playing on fear… it’s irresponsible, and it’s contrary to who we are. And it needs to stop, because the world is watching.” —

    President Obama

  24. The message to Pence et al ought to be clear. He’s hired by the people as a government employee in a state executive branch; hired to execute the law.

    He acts exactly the same as his constituency wrongly accuses of and complains about our President doing.

  25. Unrelated to Pence but vis a vis the ISIS discussion yesterday, from a NYT article today:

    “The answer is simple: To beat ISIS, you need the enlistment of the Sunni forces that won’t happen as long as Assad remains in power in Damascus,” said Ehud Yaari, an Israel-based fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “The shortest and most effective way to deal with ISIS is for the United States and Russia to come to an agreement about the removal of Assad, and they will get support from others. Then the Sunni forces, the rebels, can deal with ISIS on the ground.”

  26. The one thing I appreciate about Gov Pence. He is consistent with his beliefs. No changes in his beliefs. Unlike other more politically astute democrats who’s often visit bthe Waffle House belies their needs to politicize every event that arises. I see that the fgbt’s are concerned about being discriminated against housing, employment , health care et al. I thought that there were laws in place to take care of these actions. I never understood how the principals in these entities would know that they represented genders that would not be covered. Are there characteristics and signs that LGBT members exhibit that would give people an idea that they were different. If I may, there was a movie that suggested that the players were not gender equal. The clue was that they were cone heads. Are we proposing that groups indigenous to gender accommodation are disguised cone heads. I doubt that. The law is the law. One does not have to answer private questions on forms, guest books or employment applications. By forcing a replication of law to cover a law already on the books for everyone seems to be erroneous. It may not ameliorate the basic issues being raised.

  27. I just saw a gorgeous double rainbow on the far east side of Indianapolis. What a welcome break from the ugliness of the world today.

  28. Trying to figure out, how does Mr. Pence feel religious rights have precedence over civil rights , in light of the Constitution barring the establishment of a national religion? How does he propose to create a right never included in the Constitution, to deny the right given to all in the Constitution? He seems to have a complex, but it’s not his thinking.

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