Maybe Mike Pence thought he could do some damage control yesterday in the face of the considerable backlash his state is facing from his signing of SB 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He thought wrong. His appearance on This Week was cringe-worthy and his statements don't hold up well under closer inspection.
From Lambda Legal:
Gov. Pence myth: SB 101 is just like an Illinois law that then-State Senator Obama voted to support.In a capitalist society there is only one quality properly used to discriminate against potential customers: their ability to pay.
Truth: Gov. Pence fails to point out that Illinois has a robust statewide Human Rights Act that specifically protects LGBT people, just as it protects others in Illinois. Indiana does not. This matters because those seeking to discriminate in Indiana may claim that the lack of a statewide law barring sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination means that there is no compelling state interest even to enforce local ordinances providing such protections.
Gov. Pence myth: This law only reinforces established law in Indiana.
Truth: The language in SB 101 is so broadly written that someone can sue even without their religious beliefs having actually been burdened simply by claiming that is “likely” to happen.
Gov. Pence myth: SB101 is just like the federal law that President Clinton signed 20 years ago.
Truth: SB 101 is substantially broader than the federal law. It extends religious rights to all businesses, no matter how large and completely secular they are. In addition, the federal law can only be invoked against government action. SB 101 goes much further, inviting discrimination by allowing religious beliefs to be raised as a defense in lawsuits and administrative proceedings brought by workers, tenants and customers who have suffered discrimination in a business transaction based on someone else’s religious beliefs.