GPEL's Co-Founder, Evan Davidoff Says "It Ain't 2004 Anymore"
April 2, 2015

It Ain’t 2004 Anymore: A Rude Awakening for the GOP
Evan Davidoff | April 2, 2015

You almost have to feel bad for Mike Pence. Almost. He really didn’t see it coming. Neither did most of the GOP.

They had a long track record of popular discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community to look back to. Yes, as of late, there had been a spate of pro-marriage equality rulings coming from the courts. However, the GOP knew these courts were “activist courts” out of step with the will of the people. Right? George W. Bush had warned them about that.

George W. Bush in himself had shown the GOP the way. He won a whole election by putting the rights of LGBT people up for referendum in states across the country. The American people answered resoundingly that discrimination against LGBT couples seeking equal footing under the law was okay by them. Time and time again when the people were asked if they’d like to discriminate against LGBT they said “yes.” They didn’t just say “yes” in deep red states like Texas and Louisiana they also said “yes” to Prop 8, taking away rights bestowed on LGBT couples, in 2008.

When legislatures and Governors took action against the LGBT community, most people didn’t bat an eye. The national media took little notice and the population at large just went about their day.

As recently as February 2015 there was very little noise when Sam Brownback, the Governor of Kansas, rescinded an executive order that prohibited discrimination against LGBT state employees. Maybe it was okay because now state workers in Kansas had to join the rest of the Kansas workplace, all of whom have no workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity?

As of right now 29 of the 50 United States of America have no protections against being fired from your job based on sexual orientation or gender identity. So, it’s not exactly shocking that Governor Pence thought this would pass with little more than a bump in the road to bigotry. Up until this point discriminating against LGBT people had just been so easy.

The news that the GOP led legislature is now reversing course, maybe not to the degree many LGBT activists would like, but to at least make sure this “religious freedom” law does not mean “freedom to discriminate against LGBT people,” is a big deal. It seems the country and businesses, which truly amplified the voices of LGBT activists, have changed course

In a way the #BoycottIndiana movement was a beautiful message of enough is enough. Finally, the country seems to have had enough of this. It’s not 2004 anymore; beating up on the LGBT community will not win you elections. In fact, it now seems it could make you lose them. The about face the Governor of Arkansas did after seeing Indiana’s mess gives some hope that those sitting in public office across the country are getting the message.

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