On Tuesday, embattled Indiana Gov. Mike Pence again went on the defensive over his state's new Religious Freedom of Restoration Act, which critics say gives businesses the legal right to discriminate against members of the LGBT community. Pence, however, doesn't see the law that way. In fact, at this point he doesn't really see the law in any way, telling the media Tuesday morning that he will "clarify" the law in the next few days. Exactly how the state of Indiana will clarify the law remains to be seen.
Pence told Fox & Friends Tuesday morning that Indiana's Religious Freedom of Restoration Act is not discriminatory, because, well, he "supports religious liberty." Much like his non-response to ABC's George Stephanopoulos earlier this week, Pence spun the law with the "religious liberty" argument without explicitly explaining how the measure does not grant businesses the license to discriminate:
This is a law that mirrors what President Clinton signed into law in 1993, and is the law either by statute or court decisions in some 30 states around America. ... [The law] is simply a framework for courts to balance the various interests of citizens in a way that respects our nation's strong and long-standing commitment to the importance of religious liberty.
"I abhor discrimination," Pence added. However, the Indiana governor says he "stands by this law" and alleges it has been mischaracterized by both the media and the left.
Pence also said that he truly doesn't care what you are and who you love — he's a Christian, after all. "I believe in the Golden Rule that you should 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you,'" the governor wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, also published on Tuesday. "If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore."
On the morning program, the governor later said that he would like to clarify this law to show that the intent was "never" to legally allow discrimination. However, when asked if he would take it one step further and pass a law making it illegal for a business in Indiana to discriminate, Pence replied: "Well, that's not been my position; it's not been the position of the state of Indiana."
So Pence wouldn't discriminate, but he wouldn't "fix" the law by outlawing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But he also wouldn't eat at restaurant that refuses to serve gay people, Pence insisted. Good to know!
However, the governor wants you to know that Indiana is "open for business." Of course, whether you choose to give your money to or boycott the state of Indiana is entirely up to your — how should we put it? — "consumer liberty."
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