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With The NCAA Final Four In Indianapolis, Is It Time To Boycott Indiana?

The tsunami of pressure to boycott Indiana over their draconian anti-gay law is the justifiable response to this outrageously discriminatory act.

Boycott Indiana? Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

The Final Four in Indianapolis this week is supposed to celebrate the coming together of schools and fans from across the country in the culmination of the college hoops tourney. States and communities bind together to root for their teams. Whether they attended the school or not, all fans of the teams are welcome.

In what only can be called the worst/boneheaded timing award, the state of Indiana has lost their mind and created a national firestorm in making a supposed stand for religious freedom and for blatant, shocking discrimination as thousands of people are headed to Indianapolis.

The same people who are staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, shopping at stores and doing whatever tourists do when they visit a city.

There are visitors primarily from Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky and North Carolina. Even fans of none of those teams go to the Final Four just to be part of the atmosphere and see some great hoops.

It’s been a great tourney with Kentucky beating Notre Dame last Saturday in a last-second victory to reach 38-0 in the highest rated telecast ever on cable television. Then, the state of Indiana went and chose hate over logic.

The Final Four is one of the events that bring people to a state they wouldn’t normally travel. The state also hosts Big 10 basketball tourneys and the conference’s football championship. Like many other major cities, Indianapolis also hosts conventions of groups from around the country. As a native of Illinois, I visited the state to attend sporting events at Notre Dame and in Indianapolis and Bloomington.

The state jeopardized all that with a foolish move to appease religious conservatives because there’s nothing they can do to stop the Supreme Court from legalizing gay marriage.

Religious conservatives argue they’re under attack and should have their religious freedom not do business with anyone if they don’t agree with their gay way of life. That argument of religious freedom being under attack and this persecution complex is getting old a decade after the same groups enacted ballot measures opposing gay marriage as a wedge issue to win the 2004 presidential campaign. It’s over, people. Gay marriage is about to be the law of the land. History moves forward and Indiana simply has to get the hell over it. Discrimination of any kind by any other class of person should never be tolerated in the United States—certainly not in 2015.

If right wing conservatives can’t handle the fact that society’s values have changed and people are accepting of gay marriage, too bad. After all, many those who changed their mind did so because their family members, relatives, co-workers and neighbors have come out. Many now don’t see being gay as threatening and only want happiness for their loved ones and friends.

It makes me shake my head at this persecution complex when my religion as a Catholic has a history of persecuting people for centuries for their noncompliance with the church.

We heard it when Tim Tebow couldn’t get a job as an NFL quarterback. It was because of his religious beliefs his supporters said at the time. No. It’s because he couldn’t complete a friggin’ pass.

There are plenty of devout Christians who are successful in the NFL and other sports. These groups have turned to bullying people to get their way and prevent gay people from getting married or served. It’s like a kid on the playground pushing someone around and taking their lunch money.

Now, that someone stands up to their bullying and pushes the bully and takes back their lunch money, they want to file charges for assault and theft.

People are fed up with it already and that’s why people have called for a boycott of Indiana and companies in the state have stepped up the criticism as well.

As someone who has had three gay siblings, it’s important to speak out and take a stand against those who want to show their hate. Religion has been used as a weapon against individuals throughout human history, and we’re calling for it to stop.

You have to let that hate go and become more accepting as many people already have when they’ve have learned about family and friends who have come out as gay. You may have heard of the Golden Rule and all that.

People would much rather talk about basketball this weekend and see if Kentucky can be the first team to go undefeated since 1976 instead of talking about a law that allows people to discriminate against other Americans. It’s shocking. It’s stupid. It’s wrong.

We’re ready as a country to move on from this issue already and come together as sports fans. Time to tip it off. Indiana, get on board before it’s too late.


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