This Week host George Stephanopoulos absolutely grilled Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) over the newly-signed “religious freedom” bill, which critics maintain would allow businesses to refuse services to LGBT customers. Pence argued that the bill’s intentions had been misrepresented in media coverage, and insisted he would not change the bill, though he did continue to say he would “clarify” it.
However, Pence refused to answer two “yes or no” questions posed to him by Stephanopoulos over the potentially discriminatory ramifications of the bill, including whether it would allow a florist to deny services to a gay couple, as its supporters maintain. “There’s been shameless rhetoric about my state and this law and its intention all over the internet,” Pence said. “People are trying to make it about one particular issue, and now you’re doing that as well.”
Stephanopoulos asked the question several more times. “It’s a simple yes or no question,” Stephanopoulos said. Pence reiterated that he will not make LGBT citizens a protected class. “It doesn’t have anything to do with this law,” he objected. “This isn’t about individual rights or preferential rights for anyone.”
If Pence thought he’d be doing damage control today, he was dreaming. Over and over he refused to give a straight answer.