INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The State of Indiana, its Republican-controlled legislature, and its Republican governor have come under a tremendous amount of backlash and social media pressure in the wake of a new law, signed into law last week by Governor Mike Pence, that many argue gives legal cover for members of the LGBT community to be legally discriminated against. Many point to the law’s stated goal — to protect religious citizens of Indiana from persecution and prosecution over their religiously-based behaviors — as being nothing more than a game semantics, when the architects and lobbyists behind the law are devout, openly-hostile, anti-LGBT individuals. Governor Pence appeared on ABC’s “This Week” program on Sunday, and further enraged his critics by refusing to answer a simple yes or no question — does the law encourage discrimination against members of the LGBT community?
“This is not about discrimination,” Pence said on “This Week.” The Republican Hoosier condemned his critics for using “shameless rhetoric” against the law and that LGBT people should be tolerant of those who are so intolerant of them that they use the force of government to restrict who two adults can marry. Pence really seemed to be taken aback by just how virulent and swift the backlash against SB101 has been.
After his appearance, reporters caught up with Pence as he exited the TV studio he conducted the remote “This Week” interview from and asked why he was so shocked about the reaction to the law. “I just had no idea that so many people knew they were living in 2015, not 115 B.C. is all,” Pence told the handful of reporters outside the studio. “I genuinely forgot that everyone these days has a smart phone with a calendar app, my bad,” Pence said.
“It’s going to make it incredibly hard to govern,” Pence continued, “if every time I write a law from the Stone Ages every Tom, Dick and Harry with a Facebook account gets the word out that Indiana is about to hop in a DeLorean and go back in time a few decades.”
Pence told the members of the media on hand that he “doesn’t get the comparisons between Jim Crow laws and SB101,” because “Jim Crow was about keeping a minority class of people subjugated and unequal based on their skin tone, and our bill is about keeping a minority class of people subjugated based on the gender of the people they are sexually attracted to.” A reporter from The Indiana Herald Tribune Caller asked Pence if he believed SB101 would hold up against federal scrutiny, considering that sexual orientation is considered a protected status, much like race and religion, for federal anti-discrimination laws. “Well, we Republican governors happen to think the states’ rights issue has not been settled one bit, and we seek to nullify any federal laws we see as infringing on our basic rights as Americans to treat other people like second-class citizens.”
Another reporter from The Springfield Gazette and Trumpeter asked Pence why a law fortifying the freedom of religion was even necessary when the very first amendment of the supreme legal document in the country specifically bars anti-religious laws from being written in the first place. “Clearly, being a small government conservative, I have a duty to make government as small as possible, and redundant unnecessary laws are the best way to keep the size of government small,” Pence said, continuing by saying that “once government is small enough to get inside your pants” true American freedom from government overreach “into the souls of good, God-fearing, ammo stockpiling American patriots.”
Pence was asked by a member of the media from Michigan if he worried that his party would lose younger voters, who overwhelmingly support marriage equality if they continue to write and sign laws that continue the systemic discrimination against LGBT people. “Um, lady,” Pence told the 22-year-old man who had asked the question, “it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and ask me tough questions that demonstrate flat-out how completely behind the times and incapable of understanding just how ignorant, pig-headed, bigoted and disgusting we look.”
“The bottom line to me is a simple one,” Pence said as he began wrapping up the impromptu press conference. “Yes, it makes it extremely difficult to be a representative of a repressive status quo when everyone is so insistent on moving the country forward and not backward,” Pence said. “But that doesn’t and won’t shake me from my rock-solid, conservative principles. So I say to you all now — LGBT discrimination now, LGBT discrimination tomorrow, LGBT discrimination forever,” shouted Pence as he stormed away from the press conference.