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Monday, March 30, 2015

Pence signing photo is clearly NOT a case of keeping his enemies closer.

From Think Progress:
It’s not just LGBT advocates who think it’s a pro-discrimination bill; its own proponents admit it. Micah Clark of the American Family Association explained to The Indianapolis Star that the bill would allow small businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples and also that it would allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples. The Indiana Family Institute made an end-of-year fundraising pitch that promoted the legislation, noting examples of small businesses who were facing discrimination complaints from same-sex couples. Schneider claimed, however, that the bill will not discriminate against anyone, but would simply “protect freedom and protect religious liberty.” 
Indiana is a state where lawmakers have quibbled over LGBT issues frequently in recent years, thanks to a Republican effort to add a state Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. That effort essentially failed due to a two-year delay, and a federal judge has since overturned the state’s statutory marriage ban, bringing marriage equality to the state. But now lawmakers want to make sure that even if same-sex couples can marry, they can still be discriminated against.
Interestingly, Micah Clark- who once said, in a Biblically-correct America, it would be better to drown Boy Scouts than to let them be led into a "treatable, changeable" homosexuality) was one of the invited guests to a private ceremony where Governor Mike Pence signed the Indiana discrimination law. The governor's office declined to issue a list of the names of those present, but most have been such high profile anti-gay activists it has not been hard to put together who was there, and the dog whistle message Pence was sending.

Also among those present was Eric Miller, from the group Advance America, and Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute. The three were the principal lobbyists for the bill; they, along with its chief legislative sponsors, were given pride of place in the signing photo above. Smith's animus is well-documented- and well-known to Pence:



So is Miller's. On This Week yesterday, George Stephanopoulos even quoted Miller to Governor Pence:
Eric Miller of Advanced America wrote that, "It will protect those who oppose gay marriage." He put up this example. He said, "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. Is Advance America right when they say a florist in Indiana can now refuse to serve a gay couple without fear of punishment?
Here's a clip from Miller's group making clear what they think their new law is about:



Miller and his group are old friends- even role models- for Pence:



Jeremy Hooper, writing at Good As You, identified a fourth antigay activist:
I'm also 90% sure that's the Alliance Defending Freedom's Kellie Fiedorek to Clark's right. Remember her?
ADF's Fiedorek equates serving an LGBT person with serving the KKK, burning Koran, but Chris Cuomo is having none of it [GLAAD]
A larger version shows a collection of members of religious orders out to the sides. At least one account of the private ceremony says as many as eighty people were invited to be present.
The American Family Association's Tony Perkins, who spends way too much time obsessing about the gays, underscored the law's real purpose:



Pence has a disastrous record with the LGBT community. As a Republican Congressman he voted for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, voted against repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," voted against ENDA, and voted against the federal hate crimes bill.

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