Indiana Governor Insists Religious Freedom Bill Doesn’t Discriminate, Bill’s Backers Say Differently

Jessica Renae Buxbaum
Indiana Governor Mike Pence claims the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does enact LGBT discrimination, but bill's proponents argue otherwise.

Demonstrators gather at Monument Circle to protest a controversial religious freedom bill

Indiana Governor Mike Pence claims that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not discriminate against the LGBT community, but his damage control is backfiring as the bill’s biggest proponents argue otherwise.

The bill’s main supporter, Micah Clark of the American Family Association’s Indiana chapter, opposes any such clarification that the bill does not discriminate. Clark, who stood right behind Pence as he signed the bill into law, told AFA president, Tim Wildmon, that conservatives should demand Pence to oppose any attempt to clarify the bill does enact legal discrimination. “That could totally destroy this bill,” he explained.

Clark has quite of history of anti-gay activism and has been publicly advocating for the bill since December as a way to allow LGBT discrimination.

Another anti-LGBT activist, Eric Miller of Advance America, also stood by Pence as he signed the bill. Advance America openly praised the bill for allowing churches to refuse same-sex weddings and for businesses to deny transgender people to use their bathrooms.

“It is vitally important to protect religious freedom in Indiana.  It’s the right thing to do.” Miller said. “It was therefore important to pass Senate Bill 101 in 2015 in order to help protect churches, Christian businesses and individuals from those who want to punish them because of their Biblical beliefs!”

Religious Freedom Restoration Act infographic

Nationwide, conservative supporters argue that this bill prevents discrimination against Christians for enacting their own beliefs.

“This law is not something that provides for discrimination against gays,” Radio host Bryan Fischer explained. “It is something that prevents discrimination against Christians… This thing is an anti-discrimination bill because it prohibits governmental discrimination against Christians in the state of Indiana.”

The RFRA is being defended as a piece of legislation meant to protect Christians from being forced into violating their beliefs and facing governmental persecution if they follow with their faith. The Christian narrative victimizes themselves in an absurd attempt to justify their discrimination with this bill — all while ignoring that  refusing people the right to marry or public access to a bathroom just isn’t very Christian.

Read more: Connecticut Is Making A Statement To Indiana's New Law