We don’t serve your kind here!

Indiana is still not always welcoming to LGBT people


In Indiana, Bailey and Samantha Brazzel went to Carter Tax Service in Russiaville to have their joint return filed. The owner, Nancy Fivecoate, turned them away, supposedly because of her religious beliefs. Ms. Fivecoate is only a watt or two away from being a dead bulb:

“The LGBT want respect for their beliefs, which I give them.” Fivecoate wrote in a statement to WTHR-TV of Indianapolis. “I did not say anything about their lifestyle. That is their choice. It is not my choice. Where is their respect for my beliefs?”

Claiming that sexual orientation is a belief is idiotic. Then claiming to have respect as she says “we don’t serve your kind here” is even more idiotic. Claiming that sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice is familiar anti-gay gibberish. This awful woman has her bigotry on full-tilt auto and she rhetorically wants to know why we do not respect that.

Some people are desperate to display their disapproval of gay people which is what this is mostly about. Then, they want to have some power — no matter how frivolous — over our lives. A clearly deranged business owner is willing to trade lost revenues for an opportunity to shout “perverts!” Her actions are more inflammatory than the prejudicial denigration she withheld.

Does anyone believe, even for a second, that anyone’s religious beliefs are such that they preclude someone from doing what they do in the course of business? The witless Ms. Fivecoate errantly believes, I suspect, that we seek or require her approval. These people cannot cope with the simple fact that we do not care whether or not they approve of us. It is irrelevant. We do not need their blessing and we, sure as hell, we do not require their permission.

In one interview Ms. Fivecoate claimed that she was legally entitled to turn away the Brazzels. In March of 2015 then Governor Mike Pence signed a religious freedom law into effect. The Indiana business community forced Pence (they dragged him kicking and screaming) to sign an amendment protecting LGBT people. The effect of the amendment is limited to not preempting municipal nondiscrimination laws. There are no statewide anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people in Indiana. Neither Russiaville nor Howard County have applicable nondiscrimination laws.

In 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That ruling is limited to the circuit which is comprised of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. However, that case is specific to employment discrimination. How that might apply to discrimination in public accommodations is speculative.

What is necessary — what is morally required — is the specific inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation in the Civil Rights Act. Doing that requires us to oust Tweety in 2020 and gain control of the Senate while retaining control of the House. In 2020, Republicans will be defending 23 Senate seats (including the special election to replace John McCain); Democrats 12. We need a net gain of four to control the chamber.

Quoting from the Supreme Court’s ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission:

Our society has come to the recognition that gay persons
and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as
inferior in dignity and worth. For that reason the laws
and the Constitution can, and in some instances must,
protect them in the exercise of their civil rights.


while … religious and philosophical objections are
protected, it is a general rule that such objections do not
allow business owners and other actors in the economy
and in society to deny protected persons equal access to
goods and services under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.