World-famous artists ‘express concern’ about playing in Indianamain
The chief executive of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has struck an alarm bell about the state’s new law of religious and sexual intolerance. Gary Ginstling published this open letter tonight:
As the Chief Executive Officer of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, I want to reaffirm our institution’s commitment to inclusiveness. The ISO does not discriminate in its hiring of staff, orchestra, musicians or guest artists, and our performances and programs are open to all.
The recent passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act has brought unnecessary negative attention to our state and its citizens. In addition, the economic damage of this legislation is real. Several world-renowned guest artists scheduled to perform with the ISO in coming months have expressed concerns about coming to Indiana in the future. The ISO is committed to providing our community opportunities to experience the most talented performers from around the world; that any artist might choose not to perform with us due to this legislation is but one example of its far-reaching consequences.
At a time when the nation’s attention is focused on Indianapolis this week as we host the NCAA’s 2015 Final Four Men’s Basketball Championship and our city’s unique personality and hospitality will be on display, it is a shame that the divisiveness of this legislation has become the headline. And given these headlines, it is important that the Indianapolis Symphony reiterate its commitment to inclusiveness and to the value and benefit of a diverse community.
Chief Executive Officer
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
UPDATE: The President of Indiana University adds his voice to the growing concern here.
Don’t succumb to irrational hysteria. Gather information and read up before you start flinging shit.
You left out an important detail (at least one).
Cross-reference that list of 20 states with states that already have anti-discrimination laws against gays already on the books.
All of a sudden, the picture changes.
And yes, it is currently legal to discriminate against LGBT people in housing, employment, marriage, etc. in many states.
Exactly William. Absent any Indiana law prohibiting discrimination based on sex orientation, there is no compelling (State) government interest hindering discrimination against gays on religious grounds. Since the Indiana RFRA instructs courts to a strict scrutiny test, no case against a public accommodation refusing to serve gays because of religious reasons could be successfully brought before the Indiana courts.
So Doug, don’t be coy, and try to take a look at what this law does, rather to what it only says.
Doug, you will get better information from these two links. It’s not as simple as you, and supporters of the law, make it out to be. The Indiana law is different, even just in context.
Let’s ask Charles Schumer if he sponsored H.R. 1308 in order to discriminate against gays. And let’s ask Pat Leahy or Harry Reid or Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein or Barbara Mikulski – all of whom voted for the act – if they now want to repeal it.
The NY Times published a very good article that teases apart the differences in the laws and also the issues involved. Well worth the read.
Ah, yes. Now I see. The RFRA was intended for neato politically-correct religions, not icky flyover Jeebus lovers.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a Islamic bakery to order a cake with a Star of David on it.
Looks as if the artists visiting Indiana — and anyone else — could be refused a hotel room because they were gay if the owners felt gayness offended their religious freedom. Seems to me all sorts of other people could be refused things on “religious” grounds too.
Exactly, who are these world reknown artists? It’s as vague as the understanding of this law, in the first place.
Were they marching in France? Did those terrorist attacks outrage them? Do the little girls being kidnapped, raped and mutilated outrage them? Did Turkey’s charges and trial against Fayzil Say’s statement the President interpreted as anti- Islam anger them to stand up and cancel engagements in Turkey? Are they speaking out against the re-emergence of Anti-Semitism, as it was in the Thirties,
and the attacks in Europe and the UK compel them to speak out and act in protest?
Where? I missed it.What about the Chrisitian massacres, the destruction of museums and libraries with ancient and Medieval, irreplacable artifacts and holdings compel them to call for securing and protecting these unique and rare manifestations of Western Civilization? Worse, the devastation of communities that were thousands of years old?
Let’s get real. This, obviously, is not Schnabel, or Hubermann’s , or Rostropovich’s
generation. There are innumerable, horrific Human Rights crimes happening to millions of innocent people daily. What about the Islamic countries that ban music and dance and education for females ? What about the gays being tortured and hung in Iran?
Are any of these artists- or any fine artists anywhere- protesting and demanding any justice for True crimes- not fabricated and paranoid projections of what does not exist?
Are Managers not hiring musicians , because they are gay? Anywhere?
In fact, it is a shield to protect individuals from the government’s discrimination.
Individual business have every right to refuse to serve anyone.
Maybe, they aren’t clean, or civil, or enter the store with food, or barefeet?
Tragically, there are far too many problems in the world. I suggest, they get busy.
If they refuse Indiana’s venues, then, they had better check the seventeen other states
with similar laws.
This heart-felt statement in favor of legalized, protected discrimination is impressive. To extend the logic of the new bill, businesses are protected if they object, on religious grounds, to gays, blacks, jews, muslims, christians, asians, or any other group into which people can be lumped.
That things are worse someplace (they always are) doesn’t mean that human rights shouldn’t be protected here.
Not to veer off-topic, but to provide a quick answer to your question, Carolyn: yes. Sadly, there are managers who aren’t hiring artists because they are openly gay. I speak from relatively recent personal experience with a major orchestra in Asia. And lest you think that allegation simple sour grapes, that bit of discrimination was very explicit. After making an initial offer, that was withdrawn because their “research indicated that my [personal and professional] partner and I might possibly be – ermm… homosexual – and that could prove politically embarrassing”.
I would like to think that this is not commonplace in the arts world, but unfortunately it does still happen.
And which major Asian orchestra are you talking about? This kind of behavior will only stop if the perpetrators are exposed to public opprobrium.
Are there any “major Asian orchestras” outside Japan? Not saying they are not good, but “major” to me implies lots of recording and touring. Otherwise, “regional.”
Actually, Carolyn, what you wrote: “Individual business have every right to refuse to serve anyone,” is false, at least in the U.S.
The fact is that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Alas, in Indiana, it is currently legal to discriminate based on one’s sexual orientation. Let’s hope that that changes soon.
There’s a big difference between serving drinks in a bar or restaurant and being forced to participate in events like baking cakes for weddings or photographing them against one’s beliefs. I don’t think until recently the Civil Rights Law was invoked for travesties like that. This also applies to doctors who can opt out of termination of life that offends their consciences as well.
In what ways are those situations different? Why are certain things “travesties” and others not? Please explicate.
This would obviously protect Moslem restaurants from serving pork or alcohol. Some cab drivers do not allow these products in their cars. It would also protect Moslem photographers not to photos of events or people dressed in a way they would deem indecent. It would protect Wiccan bakers from having to bake wedding cakes with Bibles on them.
Bottom line: a person should run his business the way he sees fit. Too much reverse discrimination has happened in the misinterpretation of the extent of such laws.
No, a person should run a public business FOR the public, not according to the whims of their personal beliefs.
You take work in a field that requires you work with the public, then you serve ALL of the public, not only those you agree with.
If someone came into your restaurant with bare feet and dirty should you be obliged to serve him? How about cursing you out as well? Private businesses are not public institutions, unless it is a totalitarian state. It is not logically possible for everyone to share the same views. Those who crow diversity should be aware that some beliefs contradict others. Forcing your beliefs and lifestyles on others is the objective of certain groups and running them out of business if they don’t celebrate it. The fact they have succeeded in quite a few cases shows the need for such legislation. If it were just “live and let” live as originally touted, then there would not be any concern.
“Religious Freedom” – an oxymoron. The more religion, the less freedom.
That’s right–purging religion is what made revolutionary France, the Soviet Union, and Communist China so free. Thank goodness they didn’t have to deal with totalitarians like Wm Wilberforce or Martin Luther King Jr.
You are barking up the wrong tree. Secularism, strict separation of religion and public matters, is the choice of the enlightened people.
State enforced atheism is just as bad as theism. Dogma replaced by another dogma is not the solution. Yet it is telling that the defenders of religious dogma do fall 100% for the fallacy of pointing the finger at ideological atheism. They can’t even envision a world without dogma.
It’s astonishing how many of these dullards only see what they want to see.
There. Now lets count the number of people offended by that.