As I’ve mentioned before, I see this RFRA debate as mostly divorced from reality. There is a proxy war aspect to this whole thing. At some level, the dynamics at play reminded me of the Simpsons episode where, after a random bear sighting, Springfield panics and invests heavily in defenses against bears.
Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, dear.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh, how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn’t work.
Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock.
Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
[Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money]
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
RFRA was sold as the rock that keeps the non-existent gay danger away. Now that gay people and supporters of gay people are demanding that Indiana get rid of the rock, lawmakers are trying to say, “what’s the big deal, it’s just a rock?” But, no dice. Supporters and opponents don’t believe it’s just a rock anymore. Opponents see it as an affliction, supporters see it as protection. It doesn’t matter if the tiger-protection salesmen ever believed in the power of the rock to start with. And it doesn’t matter how many other states have rocks of their own.
Sow the wind. Reap the whirlwind.