Gov. Mike Pence, scorched by a fast-spreading political firestorm, told The Star on Saturday that he will support the introduction of legislation to “clarify” that Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not promote discrimination against gays and lesbians. “I support religious liberty, and I support this law,” Pence said in an exclusive interview. “But we are in discussions with legislative leaders this weekend to see if there’s a way to clarify the intent of the law.” The governor, although not ready to provide details on what the new bill will say, said he expects the legislation to be introduced into the General Assembly this coming week. Asked if that legislation might include making gay and lesbian Hoosiers a protected legal class, Pence said, “That’s not on my agenda.” Amid the deepest crisis of his political career, Pence said repeatedly that the intense blowback against the new law is the result of a “misunderstanding driven by misinformation.” He adamantly insisted that RFRA will not open the door to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians. But he did acknowledge that Indiana’s image — and potentially its economic health — has been hurt badly by the controversy.Chad Griffin is calling bullshit.
Governor Pence didn't listen last week when he signed this discriminatory law into effect, and he's still not listening to the growing chorus of criticism locally and nationally. While we appreciate his recognition that he's placed our state in peril, he's obviously trying to have it both ways. You can't 'clarify' discrimination. Indiana now has billions of dollars and thousands of jobs on the line, all because the Governor wouldn't stop this dangerous bill. He has a second chance to save our reputation for Hoosier hospitality, but he has to stand up and protect LGBT Hoosiers. Discrimination is not a core Hoosier value, and we can't afford to let our state continue to suffer. Please, Governor, listen to the voices of common sense and reason trying to get through to you. Fix the bill to protect all Hoosiers, and make it clear our state is open for business again.