Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Responds to RFRA Criticisms
After the nation retaliated against Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Gov. Mike Pence spoke to the press to assuage fears & announce an amendment.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has said that he intends to amend the State’s controversial new religious freedom law so that gays and lesbians are not discriminated against. Gov. Mike Pence did not talk specifics but did add that the “fix” will not come in the form of anti-discrimination laws for gays and lesbians. Gov. Mike Pence stated during an Indianapolis press conference, “It would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear that this law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone.”
Pressure on Gov. Mike Pence to fix the law comes amid a harsh backlash from many online communities and major corporations such as Apple, Walmart, Eli Lily, Angie’s List, Saleforce, and even the city of Seattle. Criticism of the new Indiana law has also come under fire from Democratic governors now banning official travel to the state of Indiana, billionaire investor Warren Buffet and the NCAA, which is holding this year’s Final Four in Indianapolis but said it may move future basketball events out of state. Even one of the nation’s largest conventions, GenCon, which brings in nearly $50 million in revenue to the state, threatened to relocate if RFRA was enacted.
Though Gov. Mike Pence has reacted to the fierce criticism by acknowledging a need for the law to be amended, he said criticism of the law is based upon a misunderstanding. Gov. Mike Pence responded to the criticisms claiming, “As I said we’ve got a perception problem here … and we intend to correct that.” Gov. Mike Pence also said there is much confusion regarding RFRA stating many have made “gross mischaracterizations about the bill.”
“Was I expecting this kind of backlash? Heavens no,” Gov. Mike Pence said of the backlash. The Indiana governor attempted to suggest that the recently passed law is similar to a law passed by President Clinton over a decade ago but was promptly rebuked by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest who said the governor has tried to “falsely suggest” that Indiana’s religious freedom law is in anyway like the law signed by President Clinton as the Indiana law is “a much more open-ended piece of legislation that could reasonably be used to try to justify discriminating against somebody because of who they love“.