State Rep. Chris Taylor
Press Release

Think Indiana-style discrimination law couldn’t happen here? Think again.

“We should be ever vigilant as lawmakers to avoid writing hate and discrimination into our laws.”

By - Apr 3rd, 2015 12:52 pm

MADISON – As Wisconsinites travel to Indiana this weekend to cheer on the Badgers in the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) weighed in on the scandal surrounding Indiana’s discrimination law. Taylor’s comments come after coverage by the Milwaukee Business Journal, which reported, “Governor Scott Walker said he doesn’t anticipate Wisconsin adopting a law like Indiana’s controversial new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Below is Rep. Taylor’s statement:

“We should be ever vigilant as lawmakers to avoid writing hate and discrimination into our laws. That’s why it was so troubling to hear about Indiana’s discriminatory Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“Governor Walker said he doesn’t anticipate Wisconsin adopting a similar law. Yet, we’ve seen legislation introduced in the name of religious freedom in Wisconsin. For example, 2013 Assembly Joint Resolution 43 would amend Wisconsin’s constitution to prohibit the state from infringing upon ‘the right of conscience, which includes the right to engage in activity or refrain from activity based on a sincerely held religious belief…’

“Governor Walker shouldn’t get away with claiming something like the Indiana law can’t happen here when a religious freedom constitutional amendment was introduced just last session with 25 Republican co-sponsors. After all, the group that led the efforts on Wisconsin’s discrimination amendment that prohibits marriage equality in Wisconsin told the Capital Times in January that their main focus for this legislative session would be to ‘advance legislation incentivizing marriage and protecting individual conscience rights.’ At a time when we may very well see these attacks on equality here in Wisconsin, I call on Governor Walker today to pledge to oppose AJR-43 and any and all future such legislation in Wisconsin.”

Mentioned in This Press Release


Recent Press Releases by State Rep. Chris Taylor

State-Wide Dems Win Big!

Walker, Schimel’s special interest agenda repudiated by voters

Reps. Taylor and Sargent Call on Matt Flynn to Withdraw from Governor’s Race

Files detail Flynn’s involvement covering up child sexual abuse by Catholic priests

20 thoughts on “Think Indiana-style discrimination law couldn’t happen here? Think again.”

  1. Gary says:

    _Thank you_ Rep. Chris Taylor for this press release.
    For anyone who wants to admit it, the issue of legalized bigotry has been a growing threat since the 1990s.
    Just ask the thousands of people who can classify themselves as part of an “invisible minority” in both work place and social settings (a term borrowed from an HR professional who was secure enough in her position to be both ethical and openly conscientious — a rare combination.)

  2. PJ says:

    I look forward to the day when we can climb out of the intellectual sandbox and stop using intellectually lazy code words like “hate” to describe opinions that don’t align with our own.

  3. Paul says:

    It seems like the only ones discriminating in Indiana were the tolerant left that shut down a business by issuing threats of arson and death

  4. David says:

    There are crackpots, fools, idiots, bigots and racists across the political spectrum. Republicans have honed in on this as their craft with a strategy and layout of tactics of fear and hatred to divide and conquer the voting population to stay in power and manipulate the political process and funded by their corporate political benefactors.

    It is the current crop of Republicans that have applied tactics of union busting laws, voter ID for suppression on minority, elder, and young voters, gun rights, go to war on lies, legal challenges to marriage rights and equality, etc. Republicans are the ones that have implemented these twisted deceitful laws written by corporate attorneys for ALEC across WI and the USA.

    Liberals equal liberty and are the founders of this country and have fought and struggled for more expansive freedoms and rights for all ever since. So-called conservatives have rarely been on the right side of history and are the oppressors of common people that makes up the majority of the population. Republicans if anything excel in hate, bigotry, lies, deceit, and control by corporate pay to play politics. If you know and understand history, you will recognize this truth. All sides are prone to corruption.

  5. PMD says:

    Paul nailed it. It’s totally the left that’s intolerant and wants to be able to legally deny service to whomever they choose and claim it’s merely exercising religion freedom. I’m sure those businesses will deny service to all sinners, adulterers and liars and the divorced well basically everyone who is capable of breathing.

  6. Kyle says:

    PMD, the news got one business owner to admit that they’d decline to cater a wedding that they felt was against their religion. Not that they’d deny service to whomever they choose, just that a place that doesn’t actually cater weddings wouldn’t elect to cater that hypothetical wedding. The response that news story was for a mob to anonymously try to ruin that place by fraudulently tanking their review rating, calling non-stop with fake orders, and trying to rally people to burn the place to the ground.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve never supported putting discrimination into law. But now, I don’t have any desire to support their cause either. When this story started, I figured it was a failing and naive business that was willing to take a stand for the publicity and what they thought was a majority position in their area. Now, given the response from both sides, I’d root for them and am glad to see people step up to give them money. They’ve been turned into martyrs for the cause, by the love and compassion that inspired people to try to ruin them for having an opinion.

  7. PMD says:

    What have they raised Kyle, like $150,000 or more now? No such thing as bad publicity right? And people like you think they are some kind of heroic small business, and no one actually burned down their business (wasn’t it you just the other day talking about how easy it is to find people saying dumb things on the Internet?). So I guess in the end it worked out just fine for them.

  8. AG says:

    One of the main tenants of gay marriage rights arguments is that it doesn’t infringe on the rights of anyone else. However, once that right was granted, suddenly people who do not support gay marriage were forced to take part in, support, or profit off of said ceremonies. (The cake baker, the photographer, etc)

    Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to make a law that forces someone to partake in your wedding that doesn’t support it. I think it’s a far more effective and ultimately more successful strategy to win the minds of the anti-gay marriage crowd than it is to win their contracts.

  9. PMD says:

    Personally, I don’t understand why any state would want to pass a law that makes it easier to discriminate against people.

    Weren’t many people upset when they were “forced” to serve black people? They were more than happy to not do business with them (and sometimes use the bible to justify it).

  10. AG says:

    The RFRA does not allow someone to discriminate against anyone like your example does.

  11. PMD says:

    But Indiana’s law would allow a private business to use their religious belief as a reason to deny service in a state that with no laws protecting the LGBT community. Right?

  12. Paul says:

    AG, it doesn’t matter what the law said, it was passed by a Republican so it’s bad, but when Clinton signed basically the same bill that was good. Liberal logic at it’s finest

  13. PMD says:

    There was plenty of Republican opposition to the law in Indiana. Plenty. Some Republicans live in reality.

  14. Kyle says:

    PMD, I did say that it’s easy to find people saying stupid things on the internet. So lets focus on the Yelp reviews in violation of Yelp’s terms of service. Or the very real financial burden of having advocates place fake orders all day long. People went out of their way to ruin these people, and from all indications are proud that they forced the place to close. I’m sure those same people are irate that $840,000 was raised to help them after being forced out of business by warriors of tolerance.

    I’m not going to defend Indiana’s version of the law. These exist all over the place already, and Indiana’s version was compounded by the fact that LGBTQ wasn’t a protected class. (Which means that refusing them service for that reason was already legal, but no one seems to notice that point, probably because it wasn’t a widespread issue.) They’ve already passed changes in response to the uproar. So apparently government can respond in a timely fashion to public opinion. But that has nothing to do with trying to ruin someone. There’s no greater cause here. There’s just people trying to ruin the life of someone too small to fight back.

  15. PMD says:

    “Which means that refusing them service for that reason was already legal, but no one seems to notice that point, probably because it wasn’t a widespread issue.”

    I did see that mentioned in some of the coverage of Indiana, and many are concerned by that and called for that to be part of the fix signed by the governor late last week.

  16. PMD says:

    “There’s just people trying to ruin the life of someone too small to fight back.”

    I imagine that’s how many LGBTQ victims of discrimination feel. I’m sure your heart bleeds for them as much as it does for this one small business.

  17. Kyle says:

    Depends of the level of “ruin”. If you feel your life is ruined because one tiny pizza joint won’t cater your wedding, then no, my heart doesn’t bleed for you. If people are following you around with active attempts to cost you money, death threats, etc., then yes, I’d bleed for them just as much. I also feel badly for the elderly couple who were unfortunate enough to live in the house that Spike Lee incorrectly identified as George Zimmerman’s. Or for anyone who’s been the target of GamerGate. And as with this case, I have less respect for those who turned the anonymous mob of idiots on the internet loose on a target that couldn’t possibly defend itself.

  18. PMD says:

    I guess it depends on how much you like pizza and how badly you wanted it served at your wedding.

  19. PMD says:

    I also feel like for many years now I’ve been reading about conservatives lamenting that liberals are always playing the victim card. They are offended by everything and too PC. They are always blaming someone else for their own shortcomings. The never take responsibility for their own actions. But it seems to me that Christians are playing the victim card more than anyone else right now, and without a good reason. Christians aren’t “under attack.” No one is out to shut down every church in America (Mike Huckabee sure is a moron). Christmas is doing just fine.

  20. David says:

    The religion of worship of money and power over common people is doing just fine in the Republican Party.

    The law that Indiana brought forth, and the same in other Republican controlled states, is not the same as the Federal version. The new state version provides exemption from civil liabilities for discrimination based on religious beliefs. And laws like this can be carried to an extreme measure and allow religious people to go to great lengths beyond just discrimination.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us