Critics are coming down hard on the Governor after he said he would support legislation to “clarify” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act he signed into law on Mar. 26, while saying the law would not change. During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, Pence balked several times when attempting to answer whether or not the law discriminates against gays and lesbians on religious and legal grounds. Show host George Stephanoupolos asked the Governor several times to directly answer the question with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, without success.
“I support religious liberty, and I support this law”, said the Governor.
After the broadcast, senior aide Betsy Harris-Tait said, “The Governor clearly stated ‘Tolerance is a two way street’ because many non-gays are feeling discriminated against due to all the vocal opposition coming from the gay groups. Governor Pence will categorize them in order to keep a fair and balanced view toward all citizens.”
A clarification was quickly issued by Harris-Tait, who explained “I only meant to suggest that a number of issues were discussed. We’re not actively labeling or categorizing anybody. I misspoke. After all, it’s not like the Governor is microchipping the family pet or sewing patches onto anyone’s sleeves!”
One half-hour later, Harris-Tait issued a second, amended clarification with an apology to those who felt she was comparing gay persons to domestic animals, and for her reference to pink triangle patches, worn by homosexuals in concentration camps. Brushing past reporters on her way home after only two hours at work, Harris issued a terse “no comment” when asked about reports that PETA had lodged a new round of complaints criticizing disparaging remarks made against animals with respect to RFRA.
The Indianapolis Star published a front page editorial on Mar. 31 with three simple words against a stark black background: FIX THIS NOW,” as concerned citizens from around the country continue to apply pressure on Pence to repeal the new law.
“If it can happen to one group, it can happen to any and all groups,” said Indiana straight rights advocate Bill Fitch. “I want to walk into a store and worry about how much money I can spend, not about whether or not an owner sees me as something their religion opposes. What economic sense does that make? What common sense does that make? We all need to stand together on this one.”