I applaud Indiana Governor Mike Pence for taking a courageous stand in defense of our first freedom—religious liberty. Gov. Pence has been on the hot-seat ever since he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into Indiana law last week. Not only did he sign the bill into law, but he also had the moxie to go on national television to defend the law in the face of scurrilously unfair criticism (see video below).
Critics allege that this law allows citizens to “discriminate” against gay people. The accusation is completely misinformed, and the media have played a big part in the dissemination of ignorance about what this law actually does and doesn’t do. I won’t rehash the law here, but I will direct you to Joe Carter’s helpful explainer as well as that of John McCormack who puts the Indiana law side-by-side with the nearly identical federal law which was signed into law by Pres. Clinton in 1993.
The law does not in fact legalize discrimination against anyone. Nevertheless, it has been misrepresented as if it does. Nevermind the fact that it’s been a federal law for over 20 years. Nevermind the fact that 19 other states have passes RFRA’s as well. Critics are denouncing the Indiana law as if it were some new departure in discrimination. But nothing could be further from the truth.
University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock is a supporter of gay marriage, and yet he supports Indiana’s RFRA. Why? Because the law has nothing to do with discriminating against gay people but with defending religious liberty. Laylock explains: