Armed with a lame-ass legal opinion from the Alliance Defense Fund (the ultra-conservative Christian "public-interest" law firm who is fighting hot-button social issues in the courtrooms), Clark and the AFA are now demanding that Daniels rescind his published non-discrimination policy.
The governor's policy statement, issued on April 26, 2005, explicitly prohibits discrimination in hiring of state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
While this story is interesting enough in its own right, these latest developments between Daniels and the religious right will likely have much more far-reaching implications.
The simmering but mostly off-the-radar unrest in the state Republican party appears to finally be showing signs of developing into a full-blown split, and by all appearances that split is widening at breakneck speed.
Simply put: the power-drunk religious right, who have been flying high in the relative cocoon of a quasi-theocratic state legislature (not to mention they are still rolling in the excrement of their city-council "victory"), has overplayed their hand. Now that the legislative session is over, Republican party moderates are saying "enough is enough."
Many moderate Republicans are finally coming out in support of fairness for GLBT people (the marriage issue aside, unfortunately), and they are wisely beginning to see the extreme religious right as a destructive force not just for the state and the country, but for their own party.
Most interestingly, the partisan aspects of GLBT issues in Indiana have until now almost exclusively pitted far-right Republicans against Democrats, with moderate Republicans biting their tongues and looking the other way for the sake of party unity.
But as Republican moderates are (finally) becoming emboldened, we're now starting to see right-wing Republicans on the attack against more moderate Republicans, with the moderates being bolstered by the most powerful Republican in the state, Mitch Daniels, while the right-wingers rally around the likes of Clark and super-loser Eric Miller.
Let the games begin.