Duke University, one of four teams left in the NCAA’s March Madness tournament, on Monday became the latest institution to publicly come out against the “religious freedom” law recently passed in Indiana.
Duke, along with Wisconsin, Kentucky and Michigan State, will head to Indianapolis for the Final Four this weekend. The championship game will also be held in the state next Monday.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence spent his weekend ungraciously leaping from the path of questions on the effects and intentions of the new Indiana law allowing public discrimination against gay Americans under the general banner of religious freedom, but one of the few things he has been quite sure of is that this new law is no different from any of the 1990s-era laws, dubbed Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, that other states passed back then. This has been the preferred defense of the new law, as the good folks of Fox News and the Republican Party (but I repeat myself) try to patiently explain this to everyone through a rigorous program of repeating it as many times as a conversation will allow.
And here’s Fox News personality Bret Baier, who accidentally destroys that argument in very specific, very concrete terms when he forgets to self-edit his remarks for the Fox News audience.
Charles Barkley is arguing the Final Four men’s basketball championship games should be moved out of Indiana because of the state’s new religious freedom law.
Critics charge that the law effectively legalizes discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as long as that discrimination is rooted in religious justification.
“Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to me,” Barkley, the Hall of Fame NBA star and basketball commentator, told USA Today.
“As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state, I strongly believe big events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl should not be held in those states’ cities.”
If you happened to catch Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on This Week with George Stephanopolous you got a healthy serving of Republican Squirm with your Sunday brunch (see video below).
IN OFFICES around the country bets have been placed on March Madness, the college basketball tournament that pits a bewildering number of teams against each other in a knockout formula designed to throw up surprises. Not to be outdone, the Republican Party’s presidential primary for 2016 is also now under way, after Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas, declared his candidacy on Twitter and launched it a few hours later before 10,000 students at Liberty University, a Christian college in Virginia, on March 23rd. Most of what is said now about an election that will not take place until November 2016 can safely be disregarded. But Senator Cruz’s candidacy is worth taking seriously because he represents a distinctive style in American politics, which may prove more popular than his detractors realise.
Among the detractors, opinions range from those who think Mr Cruz is the new Joe McCarthy to those who reckon he is a (mostly) harmless kook. His fans see something else: a ferociously intelligent Hispanic conservative who can best almost anyone in debate and a devout Southern Baptist who makes them feel good.