Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Receives Instant Backlash After Signing Anti-Gay Bill Into Law

Mike Pence (R-Ind.)

Mike Pence (R-Ind.)

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, unmoved by the petitions, phone calls, emails, and convention organizers, signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law Thursday morning. The backlash was immediate, with a number of organizations including the NCAA expressing their concern over the bill and how it may affect their future decisions on whether or not to do business or hold events in the state of Indiana.

Pence posted his defense on his Facebook page, saying in part:

This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it. In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana.

Indiana is rightly celebrated for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance, and values of our people, and that will never change. Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith.

Is anyone else wondering what will happen when a Muslim-run business, or a Wiccan-run business, or an Atheist-run business, decides not to serve a fundamentalist Christian? What about a business owned by an African American family, who choose not to serve a neo-Nazi or member of the KKK? Will Pence and his right wing cronies jump in to defend those businesses? Doubtful, because as much as Mike Pence and the rest of the bigots swear this isn’t about discrimination, of course it’s about discrimination. Discrimination by fundamentalist Christians against anyone they don’t like.

Underneath Pence’s Facebook post, the comments range from outright homophobia and hate, to snark and sarcasm, with a few people fighting over syntax, and flat-out rage. Let’s focus on the comments that A) make sense, and B), prove not everyone in Indiana is happy with this pro-discrimination bill. A young man named Gibson Christopher wrote:

I recently applied and was accepted to four universities, one of which was Purdue. Based on what your signing of this bill seems to indicate is the culture in Indiana, I have decided to attend university in a more welcoming, less bigoted state.

Anthony Jurich points out the blatant hypocrisy not only of the law, but of Pence’s defense of signing it:

How will you and the Republicans in this state who supported this law react if and when a Muslim business owner requires women entering his or her business to cover their hair? I’m guessing you’d be appalled. Instead of framing this as a protection of religious liberty, please just be upfront: This law is nothing more than anti-LGBT legislation. You’re making us the laughing stock of this nation.

The Facebook page for Indiana Progressive Liberals simply wrote “Shame on you!”, while Christina Snyder expressed how “embarrassed” she is by “this state right now.” Joseph Lee penned a passionate and well-thought out response, highlighting the number of business owners who did not support SB 101:

Gov. Pence,
The last time I checked, the citizens of the great state of Indiana were the ones who elected you to be our Governor. With that said, you blatantly went against the will of the majority of the people who put you into office to be our Governor!
On top of the citizens of the state of Indiana, businesses headquartered in our state, as well as those organizations that wish to conduct business in our state through either buying, selling, or hosting a convention are meeting in our state were blatantly ignored!

From the Indiana Chamber of Commerce to small businesses, many have voiced their displeasure against Senate Bill 101.

Hoosiers have a long memory and my guess is, they will not forget your signature on SB 101 in the next election!

And Christopher Cuhel writes:

Because of your action Governor, as a gay man, I will never spend any of my money in your state. It is obvious that you feel my money is second class and that people should be able to discriminate behind the veil of their supposed religion. I can’t wait for religious people (meaning Christians since we all know this is why you signed the bill) get denied service. It will be their just desserts. I hope you enjoy living in your state of hypocrisy, hate, and bigotry.

Shame on Mike Pence, and anyone who supports discrimination. This is not about religious freedom, no matter what the right wing says. It’s a license to demean, belittle, and hate, the LGBT community.

Erin Nanasi

Erin Nanasi is the creator of The Bachmann Diaries: Satirical Excerpts from Michele Bachmann's Fictional Diary. She hates writing about herself in the third person. Erin enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family. And wombats. Come visit Erin on on Facebook. She also can be found on Twitter at @WriterENanasi.


Facebook comments

  • Mark McRoberts


  • Keith

    So, he is a Liar and a politician.

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    • Cufmann

      So, he is a Liar and a politician.

      Prefacing your accusation with the word ‘So’ implies you’re making a deduction, Keith.

      So, what lie did Pence tell, and how is it a lie in your estimation?

      • Keith

        I was merely being redundant, Liar and politician have the same connotation.
        But he did lie about what the bill was going to do and why they were passing it. The truth is that the Christian Taliban is marching across America calling religious bigotry, “religious freedom”

      • Cufmann

        How did he lie? Could you help me and other concerned readers here understand specifically the part of the bill that he’s lying about and what it’s really going to do, and how it’s a lie?

      • Keith

        I have already done that killing you twice is not going to accomplish anything

      • Cufmann

        No you didn’t. You just called him a liar in a cowardly fashion, without reading the bill. You merely read the blog post from an author who also failed to read the bill in order to explain the accusation that Pence isn’t telling the truth.

      • Keith

        There was nothing cowardly about my comment at all, I also called him a member of the Christian Taliban and a bigot.

      • Cufmann

        Also without providing any evidence of your accusation.

        Sorry, but that is cowardly.

  • Cufmann

    Much ado about nothing. Bill modeled after Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by Bill Clinton in 1993, back when Democrats used to support religious freedom, signed into law by the same guy liberals desperately want back in the White House now.

    20 other states have similar laws on their books, many more are working on similar legislation, none of which permit discrimination against gays and lesbians, just like Indiana’s.

    This is the same type of false narrative tactics employed by the Left-wing in the Ferguson, MO shooting. Liberal bloggers didn’t apologize or correct themselves as the facts outlined in the DOJ report dispelled their false narrative, they just got angrier, more obtuse, and more vocal. Just as one would expect.

    • MaeScott

      The law signed in the nineties was over two guys getting fired for using peyote in a religious ritual(?) and failing a pee test, getting fired. A big stretch to outright practice of legal bigotry that Pence signed into law.

      • Cufmann

        Explain, please. Show your work, specifically where this bill allows outright legal bigotry.

        You are all about truth, transparency and educating people, right? And not just fear-mongering with hyperbole, correct?

        I’d honestly like to know where you’re coming up with this. Was it the anecdote presented here by Erin Nanasi from the high school kid who said he was thinking about going to Purdue but now might consider going to another college because of this bill that he didn’t bother to read?

    • kim dyer

      Sorry Rabbi … it’s against our religion to serve Jews. Sorry … It’s against our religion to seve Blacks. Sorry … It’s against our religion to serve Catholics. . Etc.

      • Cufmann

        You’re wrong, and that’s pure hyperbole and blatant demagoguery. This bill doesn’t come close to allowing for that.

        If you think it does, post the passage you claim that states it.

        Enlighten everyone here instead of regurgitating hypotheticals you’ve read somewhere on the internet.

    • kim dyer

      I suspect the NCAA, Salesforce, Apple, NFL etc. are a little better versed in law than you are.

      • Cufmann

        Salesforce does business in China.

    • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

      And how did YOU get to be so much holier than all of the liberals? You talk about generalizations——you’ve pretty much lumped all liberals in one lump. Just as one would expect.

  • FD Brian

    wait until the NCAA no longer has events in Indiana and schools in Indiana won’t be able to schedule non-conference games to be played in Indiana. This shit will likely hit the fan.

  • The bill would be more accurately titled “The Restoration of the Dark Ages of Discrimination Bill”.