Who said outrage doesn't pay?
Since yesterday, anger has spread across the Internet, aimed at a controversial new Indiana law which many say legalizes discrimination against the LGBTQ community in the name of religious freedom. Entire states (two and counting) have declared that they are boycotting state-funded travel to Indiana in response to the measure. Entertainers have cancelled shows. Sports fans are calling for different plans for already scheduled events.
And slowly, quietly, something else has been happening: state officials in Georgia and North Carolina, both of which were considering similar bills in their state legislatures, have suddenly made it very unlikely that either law would ever pass.
On Monday, while the uproar was reaching a fever pitch, Georgia officials cancelled a meeting. Now, it seems very unlikely that the bill will ever get voted on, something which was supposed to happen on Tuesday. Georgia's state legislature session ends on April 2 at midnight.
As the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, the original Georgia bill passed a committee during a "bathroom break," when a few Democrats stepped out of the room to pee (because they were drinking water for hours).
"When I got back, it was gone," Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, told the paper. "[They] knew I was going to come back… It seems to me the right thing would have been to delay the vote until all the members who had appeared at the committee were in the room.”
When the vote was made, the paper noted, only Republicans were in the room. There are still some Republicans who are trying to rush the bill to vote as-is, but at this point, the measure seems to have a negligible chance of going anywhere.
The American Civil Liberties Union has created a campaign against the measure, just in case.
In North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, bluntly said that he would not support a similar bill that is going through his state legislature.
"What is the problem they're trying to solve?" McCrory asked on a radio show Monday morning, as the Indiana fallout was unfolding.
When asked if he’d sign the bill if it came to his desk, he said: “At this time I would not sign it the way it’s written.”
However, in Arkansas, things are playing out differently. "The Republican-controlled House is expected to approve a [similar] bill advanced by state senators," Reuters reported, adding that "Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson has said he would sign it."
Wal-Mart Stores, the nation's largest private employer, which is based in Arkansas, said that the bill sends the "wrong message" about its home state.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.