Warm greetings to all!
I write this today because my home state has been making national news this week—and unfortunately not in a good way! There is a firestorm going on in the great state of Indiana and the hoosier land is not looking so great at the moment due to the recently passed Religious Freedom Law Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed last Thursday.
*You can read the law by clicking here: “RFRA” Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act
I have always been very proud of my roots, being from the midwest where family, faith, and patriotism are of the upmost importance. But right now I lower my head with a flood of emotions; shame, sadness, and embarrassment to name a few. Yes, I am embarrassed and outraged that this backwards decision could happen where I am from and in 2015. I am heartbroken for the millions of Hoosiers that do not support this preposterous law but will still be affected. I truly hope that people recognize that this decision is not a reflection of the people from Indiana. In fact, I have yet to meet a single person who supports this outrageous nonsense.
Worst of all I am fearful for the future of my beloved state of Indiana. Aside from the fact that this is morally and ethically wrong, Governor Pence signed the bill into state law despite having received several letters from several prominent companies) threatening to leave Indiana (Salesforce, Gen Con, NCAA, to name a few). In doing so, he has jeopardized Indiana financially and has informally lead the state into self-imposed economic sanctions. So what are we going to do now? The fact of the matter is, Indiana can not afford to lose anymore jobs!
I am from Anderson, a small town about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis that was once a thriving city, and like many other small towns, dependent on the auto industry. At one point Anderson was right behind Flint, Michigan where 1 in 3 people worked for General Motors. And just like Flint, the downward spiral of our economy began when GM effectively closed it’s doors. It took another hard blow from the 2008 Financial Crisis and we can only hope it doesn’t continue following in Flint’s footsteps for much longer, where they are currently in a water crisis. Yes, a WATER crisis and this is America.
Over the years I have watched my hometown transform from a vibrant community to a town racked with hardship, where businesses continue to struggle to remain viable and the crime rate has sky rocketed. A deteriorating economy where thousands of honest hardworking people go without jobs, Anderson is just one of the thousands of small towns across America that have faced these issues. I feel sick to my stomach considering the kind of impact this law will have financially for Hoosiers.
I started competing in pageants because I wanted to encourage positive change in my community. Although I haven’t lived in Anderson or Indiana for several years, I still have many friends and family that reside there. The well being of my community and home state will always remain a concern of mine. Indiana will always remain dear to my heart and I will forever do what I can to help make Indiana a better place.
Now I want to speak to Hoosiers: I know it’s easy to play the blame game and to feel like you cannot control a lot of things that may be happening in your town or in your government. But the truth is YOU CAN. Whether you like it or not, whether you participate or not, we are all actively involved in politics. What you do and what you don’t do has influence. Hoosiers, this is our opportunity to use our voices collectivity and create change in our state! Stand for what you believe in, stand for what is right. We know this law is regressive. We know this law is backwards. We know this law is wrong.
Governor Pence is a bully and I don’t tolerate bulllies.
Who stands with me?
Stop the #governhater
I hope we can all share a chuckle over the absurdity of the situation. *Special thanks to mastermind, Chris Zelig who helped me put this video together in LESS THAN 24 HOURS! Seriously…GREAT TEAM.
– EQUALITY FOR ALL –