Wednesday, April 15, 2015

PR Firm Hire Misses Fundamental Issue in RFRA Flap

Governor Mike Pence
In the wake of the damage caused by the consternation over RFRA, Indiana has hired a PR firm to repair its reputation spending millions in the process.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the state has hired the PR firm of Porter Novelli to do the tough task of making Indiana no longer a laughingstock across the country. The bill to taxpayers: $2 million plus more cash in advertising buys down the road.

It’s not 100 percent clear where the funds are coming from to pay the firm. Personally, I think Mike Pence, Brian Bosma, and David Long should scrape up money from their collective campaign accounts. After all, it was these three that did the damage to our state. It was their bullheadedness that didn’t allow them to see what might be the consequences of a broad RFRA action.

Besides, is this amount even enough to repair the damage? It’s not a PR problem. This is a fundamental issue of respect. LGBT Hoosiers deserve protections under our state’s anti-discrimination law. If lawmakers fix that wrong, then the reputation of our state will go a long way towards being mended.

1 comment:

Paul K. Ogden said...

I've mentioned this in other forums and I'll try not to belabor the point here. It was groups like Freedom Indiana which decided to demagogue and spread disinformation (as well as organize corporate partners to issue extortion threats)about the RFRA, a law that is completely unrelated to LGBT rights. If the image of Indiana is tarnished, then they are to blame, not Pence, Long or Bosma.

I was told by someone who worked in the Senate that not a single person testified against RFRA in the Senate Committee that heard it. Ask yourself, if RFRA was such a terrible threat to LGBT rights why did Freedom Indiana sit on its collective hands for more than two months before opposing RFRA which was filed in mid-January? After all, Freedom Indiana had no problem starting very early when it came to opposing the marriage amendment. Maybe, just maybe, the last minute push by Freedom Indiana against RFRA was never really about stopping the bill - after all, as countless legal experts have pointed out RFRA has not once in 52 years (I'm counting the 30 years of the Sherbert test) invalidated the application of an anti-discrimination law. Surely there are lawyers on the Freedom Indiana side who pointed that out.

As you correctly noted here and previously, LGBT rights activists should push for a state-wide anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation. I think someday, perhaps in the not too distant future, LGBT rights supporters are going to wake up and realize they were led into a pointless and counterproductive fight against RFRA, a fight that burned a lot of bridges and angered a lot of potential allies, and which didn't advance in the slightest the cause of LGBT rights