The spate of anti-gay, pro-discrimination bills that has worn out the South Dakota legislature did not come from ALEC. Instead, these legal travesties appear to be coming from a network of desperate right-wing Christian groups who are trying to get state legislatures to turn back the clock to Jim Crow days. Dana Liebelson of Mother Jones finds a trail of "Religious Freedom Restoration Acts" and other gay-panic masquerades in Kansas, Idaho, Oregon, Tennessee, Arizona, Ohio, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Mississippi:
Republicans lawmakers and a network of conservative religious groups has been pushing similar bills in other states, essentially forging a national campaign that, critics say, would legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Republicans in Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota, and Tennessee recently introduced provisions that mimic the Kansas legislation. And Arizona,Hawaii, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have introduced broader "religious freedom" bills with a unique provision that would also allow people to deny services or employment to LGBT Americans, legal experts say.
"This is a concerted campaign that the religious Right has been hinting at for a couple of years now," says Evan Hurst, associate director of Truth Wins Out, a Chicago-based nonprofit that promotes gay rights. "The fact that they're doing it Jim Crow-style is remarkable, considering the fact that one would think the GOP would like to be electable among people under 50 sometime in the near future" [Dana Liebelson, "Inside the Conservative Campaign to Launch 'Jim Crow-Style' Bills Against Gay Americans," Mother Jones, 2014.02.20].
When the Republican Party talked about rebranding itself for the youth, the Christian Right must have thought they meant Hitler youth. Go down swinging, fundagelical Republicans. We liberals look forward to winning majorities in the next dozen elections.