The public backlash following Indiana’s passage of a law legalizing discrimination against homosexuals based on “religious beliefs” has been swift and it’s been fairly intense.
Well, Indiana Governor Mike Pence decided to do an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that was easily one of the most awkward and bizarre interviews I’ve ever witnessed. Repeatedly, Stephanopoulos asked Pence basically the same simple question concerning whether or not this new law legalizes discrimination – and the Indiana governor flat-out wouldn’t answer.
“I understand that there’s been a tremendous amount of misinformation and misunderstanding around this bill, and I’m just determined, and I appreciate the time on your program, I’m just determined to clarify this,” Pence said.
“So this is a yes or no question,” Stephanopoulos stated. “Is Advance America right when they say a florist in Indiana can now refuse to serve a gay couple without fear of punishment?”
That’s a moment of truth, right? A question couldn’t be any more direct than that – but yet Pence refused to answer, sidestepping the simple question with gibberish about how this is about religious freedom and empowering the faith of Americans.
“And so yes or no, if a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?” Stephanopoulos asked. “Yes or no?”
The governor continued to avoid the question.
“This is where this debate has gone, with misinformation,” Pence responded. “There’s been shameless rhetoric about my state and about this law and about its intention all over the Internet. People are trying to make it about one particular issue. And now you’re doing that, as well.”
Excuse me? This is where the debate has gone with misinformation? He’s joking, right? He has a member of the news media asking him a simple question to clarify this law and address whether or not it allows businesses to discriminate – and he won’t answer the damn question.
“That was one of your supporters who was talking about the bill right there,” Stephanopoulos pressed. “It said it would protect a Christian florist against any kind of punishment. Is that true or not?”
“George, look, the issue here is, you know, is tolerance a two way street or not?” Pence shot back. “I mean, you know, there’s a lot of talk about tolerance in this country today having to do with people on the left. But here, Indiana steps forward to protect the constitutional rights and privileges of freedom of religion for people of faith and families of faith in our state and this avalanche of intolerance that’s been poured on our state is just outrageous.”
Wow… just wow. He’s literally arguing that religion should trump everything else in this country.
“So when you say tolerance is a two way street, does that mean that Christians who want to refuse service or people of any other faith who want to refuse service to gays and lesbians, that it’s now legal in the state of Indiana?,” Stephanopoulos continued to ask.
“I’m telling you, George, it is a red herring and I think it’s deeply troubling to millions of Americans and, frankly, people all across the state of Indiana who feel troubled about government overreach,” Pence answered, still refusing to answer the simple question.
This was easily one of the most ridiculous interviews I’ve ever watched. Governor Pence embarrassingly whined that there’s too much misinformation about the law – essentially claiming that there’s a conspiracy to slander his state – all while refusing to answer simple questions that could have easily put to rest all the negative publicity the law has received.
That’s like someone claiming they’re not a racist and accusing the media of just being out to get them, then refusing to answer the question, “Yes or no, do you believe African-Americans should have equal rights?”
Personally, I’m loving the fact this law has garnered such horrific national backlash because it’s deplorable. I commend ABC’s George Stephanopoulos for not letting up as the Indiana governor spinelessly refused to answer whether or not he recently legalized bigotry and discrimination in his state.
Watch the interview below via ABC News: