The alternative title for today’s post is “Are you kidding me with this, Indiana?” because effing Indiana went ahead and legalized discrimination against LGBTQ+ folks. I am waiting to hear the response from Gen Con since their threats to the State of Indiana and its idiot governor went unheeded. Now the question is, will the gaming convention back up its threats with action?
For those not in the know, Governor Mike Pence signed a euphemistically named “religious freedom” bill yesterday, which basically makes it legal for people to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people on the grounds of flimsy religious doctrine. The supporters of this piece of backwards, hate-filled legislation argue that it doesn’t do that, but that seems ridiculous since it literally has no other practical application. It’s only function is to allow small business owners the right to refuse service to people because of religious objections. There is no way to apply this law other than in the context of not serving LGBTQ+ people. We will now have flower shops and bakeries with signs above the door that say “Straights Only” just in time for all the gay June weddings to have their gay cake and gay flower orders refused. Hey Indiana, the 1950’s called; they want their bigotry and segregation back.
It’s baffling to me that the supporters of this bill think anyone is buying their BS about it serving any other purpose. The bill’s language is written in a way that basically makes it fine and dandy for private shopkeepers to tell potential patrons who come into their stores that they won’t serve them because it’s “against their religion.” Admit it, Mike, this bill is all about hating on the gays. Okay, and possibly Muslims. Also, Christians are not being persecuted. That’s not even something that happened in the early days of Christianity. In the immortal words of Jean-Luc Picard, “You should read more history, Number One.”
So anyways, the big gaming convention, Gen Con, held in recent years in Indianapolis officially threatened to move its convention to another state if the governor signed the bill. This is important since Gen Con has been held annually for 48 years and draws about 60,000 people to the city for the four day convention, generating significant revenue for the city and the state. But their warning went unnoticed and the Gov signed the bill. The question now is, will Gen Con back up their threat with action. Will gamers collectively take a stand against homophobic idiocy? I’m hopeful a main sponsor, Wizards of the Coast, who released a Magic the Gathering card this year with a transgender character, will apply a little needed pressure.
It’s too late for them to move this year’s conference—it’s scheduled for August, but many gamers have already cancelled their reservations and publically announced (via every possible internet and social media platform) their disgust with Indiana’s blatant discrimination law. Seriously, we all need to take George Takei’s advice and boycott the entire state. Maybe we can evacuate the LGBTQ+ folks who have the misfortune of living there and then erect a big fence around the whole thing. I’m not even totally kidding; this is one of the most blatant acts of discrimination we’ve seen from government in a long time. Trust me, history will remember this nonsense, and not favorably.
In summation, LGBTQ+ Indianans looking for a Midwestern state to get married in—Iowa’s got your back, and it’s time for Gen Con to put its money where its mouth is; gaymers and their allies are watching.