I watched Gov. Mike Pence’s press conference this morning with great interest. He is trying to face down an enormous backlash against Indiana’s recent Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which has been mischaracterized nationally as a license to discriminate against gay people. Nevertheless, he called a press conference and announced his intention to consider a legislative “fix” or “clarification” of the RFRA law. He did not explain what that legislative “fix” might consist of, but he said that something is coming.
I like Gov. Pence, and I think that he has been trying to fight the good fight. But he has gotten himself into a dilemma that has no good political outcome for him. His press conference has had the result of refocusing the national debate. Going forward, this conversation will be less about the RFRA and more about whether sexual orientation should be a protected class in Indiana state law.