Indiana governor Mike Pence appeared on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” on March 29th to continue his media tour in defense of Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” If he was expecting a softball type of interview, he didn’t get it.
Pence continues to insist that the Indiana law is similar to federal law, and to laws in other states. He likes to point out that President Obama, when he was an Illinois state senator, voted for the Illinois version of the law. What Pence doesn’t point out, is that protection from discrimination for gay and lesbian citizens does not exist in Indiana law, like it does in many other states.
In the interview, Pence repeats his mantra that Indiana is doing the same thing that other states have already done. Then, Stephanopoulos hits him with a question that he can’t, or more likely, won’t answer.
Stephanopoulos brings up a quote from Eric Miller, who runs the organization Advance America. That group, which, on its website, says it is “the state’s [Indiana’s] largest pro-family, pro-church, pro-private and home school, and pro-tax reform organization,” is a strong supporter of the religious liberty law, and of Pence. Miller says, “Christian bakers, florists, and photographers should not be punished for refusing to participate in a homosexual marriage!”
“So, this is a yes or no question,” Stephanopoulos says. “Is Advance America right when they say that a florist in Indiana can now refuse to serve a gay couple without fear of punishment?”
Pence, of course deflects. But Stephanopoulos won’t let the question go. “Yes or no,” he says again. “If a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?”
Pence begins to squirm a bit, and says that “this is where this debate has gone, with misinformation.”
“It’s just a question, sir, yes or no,” Stephanopoulos says again.
This interview is informative on several levels. It’s great to watch Pence squirm when he tries to defend the indefensible. But it’s also great to hear a member of the mainstream media actually do his job and not let Pence off the hook.
Here’s the entire interview, via ABC News:
Featured image via DonkeyHotey/Flickr