Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence must have believed that religious persecution was rampant in his state. The problem must have been considered so bad, it called for Senate Bill 568, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which states:
"Religious freedom restoration act. Provides that a state or local government action may not substantially burden a person's right to the exercise of religion unless it is demonstrated that applying the burden to the person's exercise of religion is: (1) essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (2) the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides that a person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a state or local government action may assert the burden as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the state or a political subdivision of the state is a party to the judicial proceeding. Allows a person who asserts a burden as a claim or defense to obtain appropriate relief, including: (1) injunctive relief; (2) declaratory relief; (3) compensatory damages; and (4) recovery of court costs and reasonable attorney's fees."
Some, including a good chunk of corporate America, instead saw SB568 as a license to discriminate against LGBT customers.
Despite claims from defenders of the new law, the message of legalized discrimination was not lost on Crystal O'Connor, co-owner of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind.
Ms. O'Connor wasted no time in getting in front of a camera to announce, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.”
The Internet backlash against Memories Pizza was so strong, the business has had to closed its doors.
Gov. Pence and the Republican-controlled Indiana state legislature may have thought SB658 would solve a problem, but it missed the target. The problem is not religious persecution; it's bigotry among a group of radical religious fanatics who tricked voters into thinking that they were real Americans.
In less than a week, Gov. Pence and his Bible-thumping cohorts have turned Indiana into the greatest embarrassment in America, perhaps the world.
There's a lesson in this for all Americans. Be careful who you vote for, stupidity can cost you more than your job at a Pizza place.