"You don’t have to attend every argument to which you are invited."
That is great advice from an unknown author that you can apply to pretty much any situation. I remind myself that often. In fact, most of the time, my personal opinion doesn't matter anyway.
With that said, Gov. Mike Pence issued a press release today regarding an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal about Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). It appears many politicians are now scrambling to clarify the intent of the bill. Its timing and motives are questionable.
While some officials are staying out of the conflict, many are jumping right into the fight, wanting to know the implications of the freedom restoration act on businesses and employees.
Meanwhile, immediate outlash included big plans being put on hold indefinitely as a result of the legislation -- future events of Indianapolis-based NCAA and business expansion of Angie’s List, which had sought an $18.5 million incentive package from Indianapolis to add 1,000 jobs over five years. It's a serious issue.
Excerpts from the Pence article can be found below. The full version, which will appear in Tuesday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, can be found here.
“I want to make clear to Hoosiers and every American that despite what critics and many in the national media have asserted, the law is not a 'license to discriminate,' either in Indiana or elsewhere.”
“I abhor discrimination. I believe in the Golden Rule that you should 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore.”
“As governor of Indiana, if I were presented a bill that legalized discrimination against any person or group, I would veto it. Indiana’s new law contains no reference to sexual orientation. It simply mirrors federal law that President Bill Clinton signed in 1993.”
“Some express concern that Indiana’s RFRA law would lead to discrimination, but RFRA only provides a mechanism to address claims, not a license for private parties to deny services. Even a claim involving private individuals under RFRA must show that one’s religious beliefs were 'substantially burdened' and not in service to a broader government interest—which preventing discrimination certainly is. The government has the explicit power under the law to step in and defend such interests.”
“The hospitality and character of Hoosiers are synonymous with everything that is good about America. Faith and religion are important values to millions of Indiana residents. With the passage of this legislation, Indiana will continue to be a place that respects the beliefs of every person in our state.”