Riecken Challenges Winnecke’s Half-Hearted Statement on ‘Right to Hate Law’ 


    Demonstrates Lack of Leadership and Conviction

                                                      By Gail Riecken Candidate for Mayor of Evansville

    Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s expression of concern over SEA 101 came after the enactment of the controversial measure by his fellow Republican, Governor Mike Pence, late last week.

    The Mayor spoke out after an epic wave of negative attention had already swept across the state, and fear and disappointment had engulfed thousands of Indiana residents whose lives have taken on an added measure of fear due to this ill-conceived law.

    This troublesome measure was introduced into the General Assembly on January 6, and had been steered through the General Assembly by Republicans, who acted in lockstep with the Governor.

    It is disappointing that the Mayor apparently wasn’t aware that this bill was ultimately destined for the governor’s desk.

    The Mayor’s concern only came after public outrage reached a fervor. If the Mayor had concerns, he surely would have taken the opportunity to communicate this to Governor Pence and his Republican friends in Indianapolis during the legislative session.

    Whatever the reason, and for whatever the motivation, Winnecke’s position condones the law as “Right to Hate.” It reveals a lack of compassion and understanding for the vulnerability thrust on some segments of our society.

    Leading from the rear is easy. As the old adage goes: If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything.

    Now, at this late juncture in this unfortunate controversy, I urge the Mayor to communicate directly to Governor Pence and urge him to undo this bill that was just signed into law. The citizens of Evansville deserve a leader who is willing take a stand.


    Gail Riecken

    Candidate for Mayor of Evansville


    1. Mayor Winnecke’s position on this is consistent with his position on similar items that have came before the Indiana General Assembly. Mayor Winnecke was one of the first Republican mayors in the state to voice opposition to HJR-3 in last year’s session. Rep. Riecken does not understand the tact needed to navigate through difficult political situations. She is reactionary and not much of an independent thinker. This is why she quickly went to Urbana, IL with the other House Democrats and hijacked our legislative process. Mayor Winnecke knows that a lot of the same people that voted yes for this law are the same people that we are relying on to approve the funding for the medical school. He did what any good leader would do. He took the time to make an appropriate comment. He announced his displeasure without being offensive. Would Riecken had preferred that he made an immediate and reactionary statement that ruffled so many feathers that we lost funding for the medical school?

      • Playing the money game? We cannot stand for principles if money is involved? Got to please everyone? Come on PD. That’s a bunch of lousy arguments. I am off this site to better things today.

      • Newsflash Phyllip, Winnecke didn’t get the funding needed for the entire med school project anyway.

      • Exactly! Gail knows better. She is full aware that Lloyd is not discriminatory and certainly embraces the LBGT community

        • I think Lloyd has supported the LBGT folks in Evansville very well too Dick. But his timing on support of this stupid bill was not the best. I think since Evansville has a pretty liberal attitude as far as the LBGT folks are concerned, LW should have taken a leading roll in promoting this bill and I believe that is what Gail is saying.

    2. Hoorah to Gail Riecken. She said it like it is. The Mayor only expressed his displeasure after checking to see how the wind was blowing. Gail has a long record of standing up for her convictions. Yes. She went to Illinois to try to stop the legislature from harming the working people in Indiana. It cost her considerably personally. She did it because it was the right thing to do. Too bad the labor unions were bought and paid for by Winnecke. These labor folks have a short memory and are loyal to no one. With labor, it’s who has the biggest bag of promises. So labor gives Winnecke money and he passes it on to Pence. WOW. Does that make any sense? Gail has always been a person of character and hard work. She has been honored repeatedly as a top legislator. She is a well respected legislator that sits on the most important committee in the House, Ways & Means. We are proud to have a lady like Gail represent us and will be even prouder to call her our Mayor.

    3. Never has any of the many RFRA laws resulted and the accusations of discrimination that has been hurled at it by the law’s opponents. The democrats have drawn a line of lies in opposition to this bill and in doing so are telling Hoosiers of faith that they should be forced to participate in something which violates their convictions and that they need not apply for religious liberty in Indiana.

      As a legislator Rieken should know that all this law grants is the ability for the court to decide if one person’s liberty is being unduly burdened by another’s.

      I would much rather hear her plan for downtown and the proposed medical school and hotel.

      This information is useless blather. As Mayor is she going to disregard this law like she disregarded the constitution when running off to Urbana to escape it?

      It is becoming apparent to me that if we put Rieken as Mayor with SBR and democrat controlled city council, money will flow to the downtown rat hole like sewage to the Ohio river.

      • Indiana Enoch, you and Mike Pence share the same problem.

        When asked repeatedly, “”Do you think it should be legal in the state of Indiana to discriminate against gays or lesbians?”

        you don’t answer.

        Instead you say,

        1. But Bill Clinton did it!
        2. But Barack Obama did it in Illinois!
        3. But 30 other states also do it!
        and now, Indiana Enoch, you add a preposterous fourth one,
        4. But Gail Riecken shouldn’t have an opinion! Downtown is going to be a financial sinkhole! (That made me laugh.)

        None of those responses answer the question, and THAT is the problem.

        Just go ahead and cop to it! (Because indirectly, you ARE.)

        You’re not saying “No, it should not be legal to discriminate against gays.”

        Instead you’re saying, “Yes, it should be legal to discriminate against gays! And everybody else is doing it!”

        • Quark, your problem is that you answer questions for me in ways that I would not answer. If I thought or seen anyone discriminated against the way you extremist like to exaggerate I would stand against it.

          Gail can have an opinion and even lie if she chooses, but doing so demonstrate that she is just another political hack that has no plan. What’s she going to do about this law? Ignore it?

          And again, it is already illegal to discriminate. Putting words in my mouth does not make them my words. It only makes you a liar.

          BTW, I thought my best line was “like sewage to the Ohio.” Speaking of sewage, what is Gail’s plan on that? You know this uproar will go the way of OWS just like the hoopla over every other RFRA. What then Quark when we are stuck with Gail and a democrat CC?

        • Indiana E, my comment was that your approach to the argument confirms you support the law precisely because it allows discrimination of gay people. It makes no difference what words you use…as long as your argument is plainly supportive of the right of anyone, including business owners, to hang a sign that says “No Gays Allowed.”

          Indiana E, a change is coming. It will make it illegal to discriminate against skin color, ethnicity…all the others…AND sexual orientation. You know it, and I know it. And the new law will be have been a waste of time.

          More later. I have work to do.

            • Indiana E,

              “bow at the altar of same-sex marriage?”

              You use such words out of fear that your argument is weak.

              It is.

              It would never occur to me, never…to consider I am bowing to anyone else’s marriage. It’s their business.

              You refer to the race card PRECISELY because you know this is a violation of the civil rights of gay couples. You are right. It was against the law to post a sign, “No blacks allowed” ….just as it will eventually be illegal to have the same sign, “No gays allowed” in a business window.

              Indiana E, you are using religion as a knife to justify bigotry. They did it against blacks (not you, I can see you are trying on this issue…), and they are doing it again with same-sex couples.

              It’s wrong, and maybe not illegal yet, but it will be. We both know it. The arguments don’t hold water. It violates citizen’s civil rights. Religion isn’t allowed to do that, the Constitution comes first in America.

      • The money is already flowing to the rat hole . Gail will try to stop the flow before we go broke………..Winnie is spending it now faster than we can make it . Open your eyes………………

      • jbyrd, you are SO WRONG, we now need the hotel more than ever !

        It will be called The Intolerance Inn, and it will attract droves of those like-minded people who started to go to Chick-Fil-A during the Hobby Lobby case. Maybe even put in a Chick-Fil-A drive-in (vs. drive thru) ?

        These same conventioneers while in Evansville could take a side trip to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, and learn about how man is only 6,000 years old, and the dinosaurs and our 6,000 year old ancestors co-existed. Yummm, delicious brontosaurus burgers !

      • So we just turn religious liberty over to the wolves because someone threatens economic terrorism?

        • IE – Religious freedom was never never threatened. It is a song and dance of politics. Besides what religious values are being taken away by helping another person. I do not believe what you believe but I will be kind to you and help you if I find you in need of something I can do to for you. There is a big difference between prejudice and standing up for your religious beliefs. I think you know that.

          • Sexual freedom is not threatened either. When you force anyone to participate in something which violates their good conscience towards God or face financial consequences that person’s religious liberty has been taken away. This issue is not about straights only lunch counters, and I think you know that. The only prejudice is that a vocal minority believes sexual it deserves protection but religious liberty does not.

            BTW, did I not warn years ago that the current trend of same sex marriage would result in laws like this one being necessary?

            • …it is so bad for you, you’re having to use absurd language like “economic terrorism!”

              This issue is a loser. And what’s best for the Dems is it is now law. Messy to fix. Supporters need a “clown bus” not a clown car.

              The Dems win because while they may have helped to pass the law, NOW they get to promote passing a NEW law that makes discrimination against gays….illegal.

              And the GOP, thanks to this mistake, gets to defend the right to hang a “No Gays Allowed” sign on the storefront window.

            • Quark, this issue is the law and your going to have to learn to live with it. You are not going to be allowed to force people to participate in something that violates their religious convictions.

              Sorry, I know that must be your thing, but for once you’re going to have to learn to respect religious liberty. Good news is that you and your boy friend will not be denied a place at the lunch counter. Heck, tell me Enoch sent you and you’ll get my usual discount.

            • ….there’s no boyfriend. Only a wife and kids. How about we stick to the issue?

              More later today. This issue is a gift for those seeking to show how bigotry against same-sex people. And what makes it best was it was gift wrapped by the far right Christian community. (Yes, I know. Muslim extremists also agree with rules against gay people as a class of citizens too. Not just Christian extremists…)

            • I just can’t wait to hear what more you have to say. I’m sure it will loaded with more of the same mischaracterazatiin of what this law allows and misrepresention of what I believe. One really has to burn a lot of brain cells to run around squaking bigot.

              Not once has any of these bills resulted in the discrimination you say this bill will allow. There will be no “guys not allowed” signs. The only sign that is becoming obvious is that when it comes to liberty Christians need no apply. “

            • Indiana E,

              When you say “I warned you this was coming”….I dismissed it for a later argument. At the time, I knew you were wrong, but the bigger Constitutional issue of equal protection was the issue. My thought was “Well, we’ll deal with that when it comes. It won’t stand then either, but he’s trying to distract from the equal protection Constitutional issue.”

              Your day has come. We’re dealing with it.

              It’s a losing argument too, and you know it violates the sexual orientation protection – not yet law – but it is coming. IT is the Fix to this bad law.

              And there’s no question the law is vulnerable to accusations it allows legal discrimination against gay people…it provides a law for people to point to and say “But THAT law says my right to post the sign is protected because of my religious rights!” It’s the latest version of “stand your ground” law that protects bigotry against gays.

            • QD, didn’t expect you back so soon. You should have taken more time to get some new material or at least earned the truth about the RFRA.

              So I take it that we can assume that it suits you just fine if ministers and wedding planners are forced to become involved in same sex marriages, even if it is against one religious convictions, or be dragged before the judge and striped of their livlihoods?

              Please allow me to remind you again that not once has an RFRA law resulted in the discrimination you claim this law represents, but there have been numerous cases of individuals suffering undue harm because their religious believes, which is protected from the government by our constitution, because they declined being forced to participate in a same sex wedding.

              Actually, my day has come. Haters like you can’t dictate to people like me how we must live out our faith or must participate in something that violates our convictions.

              Keep the card. You have earned it. Playing the race card is the last refuge of a losing argument.

              Now please try to come up with something new. If you can’t be right ou should at least be entertaining.

            • Indiana E,

              I noticed you stopped trying to make an argument, and have resulted to trying to throw insults. It’s silly.

              Oh, the law is too new to have abuse of the law (like defending the right to post a “No Gays Allowed” sign by citing the religious freedom law).

              And last, IT IS NOT A NEW ARGUMENT. It’s the same argument…you just want to ignore it. The Constitution guarantees equal protection, and it is illegal to discriminate on a whole host of civil rights issues. Sexual orientation is about to be added.

              There you go. And you have a problem. Your religious convictions about discriminating against gays…and blacks had the same problem – people used their Bible to justify discrimination……is about to be stopped as well. It will soon be illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation too. The Constitution trumps religious belief in the United States when it comes to laws, regardless of whether a State behaves foolishly by banning interracial marriage, same-sex marriage or votes to allow “No Blacks Allowed” or “No Gays Allowed.”

              It’s the same argument.

          • QD, why argue? You seem to know what I think and what I say when I have never thought or said what you ascribe to me. So until you actually want to have a reasonable discussion that seeks understanding rather than smattering the screen with intestinal bile, I may as well just have fun.

            BTW, show me where the Constitution trumps religious beliefs or where any RFRA law has resulted in a “No Gays Allowed” sign? It might cure your ignorance of this law, and ignorance always breeds fear and hate.

            • I-E, I’m making the case. You too. I think you’re wrong, and am explaining why.

              Goodness, you are accusing me of being unreasonable….and you’re using words like intestinal bile, economic terrorism and trying to question my sexual orientation….I’m not sure who you think is being unreasonable, but it’s not me.

              I respect you, and I am disagreeing with you respectfully, and I’m making the case.

              And in my opinion, you are showing the terrific vulnerability of the newly passed law…that it is indeed a violation of gay’s civil rights and equal protection.

            • QD,

              The case you are trying to make is to correlate this law with old south race laws. Doing so in a nice way does not make it true or respectful.

              If you really are trying to make progress, then show me where any of the RFRA laws have resulted in the discrimination you accuse this law of setting up. Show me where you get the Constitution trumps religion.

              Serious question, do you believe anyone should be forced to be part of an event that violates their convictions?

      • We don’t need one now. If there was money to be made developers would be parachuting in to town to build it. As it is, we’ve spent nearly 2 million dollars on a project and all we have is a rocky lot that at one time had a back hoe sitting on it – even that is now removed. No one wants to spend millions to earn thousands.

    4. So Gail, you prefer to ignore religious freedom, conferred on citizens by the Constitution and statute, to be trampled?

    5. Winnecke did his jellyfish imitation by waiting to see which way the wind was blowing before making his tepid remarks on the hate bill Pence signed. That bill was a foot stomping reaction to marriage equality finally coming to Indiana, a gnawable bone tossed to those who tried to own marriage. It was born out of hatred and signed with a scowl. It has caused criticism from every corner of the country to be directed at Indiana.

      We cannot afford to return something as spineless as Winnecke to the mayor’s seat. Gail Riecken will make us a fine mayor. Winnecke has been a major embarassment to Evansville and has accomplished nothing. The hard shell Republicans will vote for him anyway, they can give no real reasons why but are well practiced at bleating ‘Urbana’ and well practiced at voting Republican. She took a principled stand, a concept foreign to her detractors.

      What are Winnecke’s real accomplishments? Photo-op picking up paper by the road doesn’t count (he actually cited this as a national model). Putting his chicken suit on and making a fool of himself doesn’t count. Being a conman’s mark does count, it helps count him out.

      ✞✞ What group of people would Jesus deny service to? ✞✞

      • On the mark Bandana. And being non-religious, I don’t care what Jesus would or would not do. I am a compassion human being. There is no need for the frenzied few in our state to follow such a blatant move of fear. Kindness and common sense should be the objective. I am so glad my parents are not alive to see this. They are probably spinning in their graves. And they were religious people with arms open to all.

        • Does being open armed require that one goes against her convictions? Do religious people not deserve protection to from being forced to violate their convictions, or is there just the limited edition of liberty?

          Yet all that aside, nothing in this law allows for wanton discrimination. If it does, please show it to me. Never has any of the RFRA laws resulted in someone being denied a pae at the lunch counter.

          • IE – You really know how to carry on the political drama that is the Republican Parry now. I have always worked in health care and I believe very strongly in the personal responsibility of taking care of yourself physically and otherwise. Yet most of the people that is serve in the office, or the clinic or where-ever have not taken care of themselves and need help in a serious way. So according to your point of view, I should tell them to go away since they did not follow my beliefs and care for their body to maintain their health. What is everyone so afraid of? That the service they give in the course of their business or daily life will somehow be viewed badly by a loving God? I would hope that the God you worship is more loving and tolerant than anything I am hearing in all the hoopla surrounding this new law. If not, your churches and bibles are in sad sad shape indeed.

            • Martha. Bad example. Here’s a better one. Go into a Muslim restaurant and demand a pork chop. Tell them you are going to force them to cook you a pork chop. You may indeed emerge in a sad, sad, shape.

            • Or try this one, Martha. Have a Muslim printer print you 1000 copies of a cartoon about Mohammed. If he refuses, tell him you’re going to force him.

            • No not a bad example. Your examples are based on hate and this law is supposed to be based on Pence’s Christian faith which supposedly is based on love, kindness to all etc etc etc. I am not Christian or any other religion. I find religion to be a personal thing and I have personal beliefs of how I should live my live that does no involve believing in a higher power. I guess I would not get a wedding cake either. Indiana needs to grow up.

            • No Martha, I carry on the truth. The drama is those who want to claim this law will result in discrimination and segregation. That has not occurred under any of the 19 RFRA laws.

              Really Martha, you honestly believe this law would allow someone to be turned away from receiving health care? What it does is say you can not be forced to participate in their lifestyle.

              The God I worship, which is the God Who created you, is loving, but He is also just. While He loves us He would no more condone a same sex wedding in His church then He would condone a swingers’ key swap in the fellowship hall.

              But it does strike me as odd when people who really hold no interest in my God want to tell me how I must live in Him.

            • BTW Martha, weren’t we friends on FB? Am I victim of a bad memory or another “open mind?”

            • Martha, this law is not based on anyone’s faith. Show me where you find that bit of drama in this bill.

      • Would Jesus willing change water into wine at a gay wedding, or would we need a law to force Him to do it?

    6. ✞✞ The only blatant discrimination has been when Christians were denied the use of a sidewalk to display crosses. Equal but separate I always say, emphasis on separate.✞✞

      • Wasn’t that sidewalk a publically funded one? That’s the rub, I’m all for freedom of chosen faith as anyone, the only thing that has made that the choice it is today, is the United States constitution and those that defend it. So.

        • So you agree, in general, an individual who owns a private business should have a choice who he provides his service to?

        • So Christians must step off the sidewalk when it’s public? No, the rub is that when a Christian is denied something everyone else has access to it’s not discrimination.

    7. The City Police Dept does not need to spend the money on narcan. As a former paramedic for 18 years and current Captain with the EFD I can count on 2 hands the number of times I used Narcan. the police dept does not routinely respond on the “unconscious person”which is what the majority of OD’s come in as. As a paramedic I went to school for 2 years to learn how to properly administer, when to administer and what side effects I should expect when I gave a medication I’m not sure I want nor do I think most policeman want the responsibility of giving this drug after only a 4 hour class. This town is lucky to have an ambulance service and fire dept that responds to most emergencies in less than 4 minutes. Giving the police narcan I don’t feel is going to make much difference. The $6000 cost talked about seems pretty low. What happens when the cost of the drug sky rockets, oops it already did. What happens when the drug expires sitting in the police car. What happens when the drug gets lost or broken?
      I think this money could be better spent elsewhere.
      That is my somewhat educated opinion

    8. Another unmentioned ugliness of the blue left is the call to boycot (discrmination) and listing of businesses that have never discriminated against anyone.

    9. This bill was sired by bigots for the pleasure of bigots. There is no other way to see it. It is sad to watch our bigoted governor twist and turn on the national stage. Caught, refusing to answer questions about his cheap homophobic stunt. It is similarly sad but not unexpected to watch others attempt, and fail, to counter truthful and logical arguments with cheap soundbites and an appeal to the same Bible they have used to try to justify torture. What in the world has happened to the Christian religion? It appears to have been hijacked by a few loud poseurs. The word bigot can’t be used enough to describe these folks, racist is a close second.

      Pence will be making another televised attempt today to try to ‘clarify’ his latest hate bill. Scowlin’ Mad doesn’t get it, there is no good way to spin it. He’s already said he’s proud of the bill. It’s out of control, he’s been made for what he is. Pence and Mourdock, two peas in a pod.

      • A good lawyer would know that this aw does not allow what you are claiming.

        Here’s your card.

    10. It seems my post on this story from 03/30/15 has been removed. I must have hit the nail on the head.

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