What was Pence Thinking?
The Chronicle’s “In Indiana, an uncomfortable turn in the spotlight” (April 16) explores the question of whether the short-lived Indiana “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” was meant to allow merchants to discriminate against gay men and women seeking their products and services. Obviously, it was.
All one need to have witnessed in order to confirm the discriminatory intent of the original legislation was the appearance of Gov. Mike Pence on the March 29 edition of ABC-TV’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” in which he repeatedly declined to provide a straight answer about whether the bill would allow individuals and companies to refuse service.
Pence obviously did not anticipate the quick and explosive reaction from around the nation: threats of boycott, damage to the state’s economy and his own 2016 presidential aspirations going up in flames. Public opinion served to reverse legislation, which its proponents foolishly thought would fly under the radar. But the damage to Indiana and to Pence will not be easy to brush away.
I am proud to belong to a synagogue that was ahead of its time in recognizing gay unions. Merchants who wish to make moral judgments about the worthiness of their customers should enter a different profession.
Upper St. Clair