Though they won’t admit it, SB 101 is a knee jerk response to marriage equality becoming law in Indiana in late 2014. In some ways, the passage of this law offers comfort. Small-minded people are more plainly revealing themselves for who and what they are.
The law sets a dangerous precedent, though. There are, for example, LGBT people who want to spend their money in Indiana, and some Indiana business owners don’t want that dirty queer money. Their warped faith guides them in this way and so be it. This bill will also allow businesses to deny women certain forms of contraception if the owners disapprove. The slope for such legislation is desperately slippery. As always, “religious freedom,” targets very specific groups of people—the groups those in power want to control or eradicate.
I live in Indiana and teach at Purdue University, a wonderful school with some of the brightest students I have ever had the privilege of working with. My colleagues are powerful and intelligent and kind. The cost of living is low, the prairie is wide and on clear nights, I can see all the stars in the sky above. I have reasonable access to two of my favorite cities, Indianapolis and Chicago. My commute is, with traffic, around six minutes. There have been some growing pains since I moved to the state but on the whole, I would have been happy to stay in Indiana for a while. Now, I want to leave.