INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) has caught himself in quite a conundrum. Not only has the new Religious Freedom Restoration Act that he signed into law last week garnered his state an avalanche of negative press and criticism from not only the media but from the Republican Party’s most important constituents, businesses, but now as it turns out the law he signed also left a gaping loophole, and members of his party are pushing him to close it.
“Businesses have reached out to us,” State Rep. Tom Thompaulsen told reporters at a press conference being held at an Indianapolis area pizza restaurant, “and told us that they are more than happy to start using the RFRA’s protections to express their religious freedom all over LGBT people in this state, but they don’t know how to identify an L, G, B, or T just on looks.”
Thompaulsen said he and his fellow Republicans are lobbying hard to get the State of Indiana to contract with Sew You Think You Can Patch, Inc., a company headquartered in Flander’s Knob, a small town just an hour outside of Indianapolis, to create special rainbow-colored and shaped patches that members of the LGBT community in Indiana could voluntarily wear, to help signify to shop owners that they are not heterosexual. The patches would be available for free to all LGBT people who wish to wear one, and a free voter ID is included as well.
“Republicans in the great State of Indiana know that tradition, biblical definitions of marriage are what George Washington and Abraham Lincoln wanted most out of this great nation, ” Thompaulsen told reporters, “and we are committed to bringing those biblical traditions back, one discriminatory shop owner at a time.” Rep. Thompaulsen said that no one should worry about the patches because “they’re totally voluntary” and that “they won’t cost Indianans a single penny.” He says that he and his fellow Republicans “just want to make the entire process of commerce — from discriminating to getting discriminated against — so much easier than it is today.”
Reporters asked if asking members of a minority group to wear signifying and identifying symbols out in public sounded at all like fascism to Thompaulsen. “Fascism? Not at all,” he replied. “Again, we’re not forcing anyone to wear anything. We’re just asking fellow Indianans to help their Hoosiers out by wearing the patches. It’s about politeness to the job creators who want to discriminate, nothing more.”
“Look, if LGBTs would just stick to stereotypes — dressing and acting like we’re told they do — then this wouldn’t be an issue,” Thompaulsen continued. “Back in the days before activist judges struck down Jim Crow laws in the states, it was very easy to identify who to discriminate against. The black people. But now, with LGBTs, they can be any shape, color or size. We literally can’t tell who is who, and that does not make it very conducive to deny products and services based on shallow, superficial, and frankly irrelevant classifications of someone’s being, does it?”