Yesterday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence went on This Week with George Stephanopoulos to defend the so-called 'Religious Freedom Restoration Act' that was passed and signed last week. During the course of the interview, Pence said that he would be open to a "clarification" of the law, but would not consider non-discrimination protections for LGBT people. He also refused to answer scenarios about how the law may allow businesses to refuse service to LGBT people.
Pence has repeatedly claimed that the law does not target LGBT people or same-sex couples. However Twitter user @seamonkey237 used a photo of the signing ceremony and information from GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project to demonstrate otherwise.
— JetBelly (@seamonkey237) March 29, 2015
For example, Micah Clark:
-- Used biblical passage about it being "better to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown in the sea" in reference to the Boy Scouts accepting gay youth: "What did Christ say about harming the least of these? He said it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown in the sea on the day of judgement than to cause a child to stumble into sin. And if we're going to support organizations telling kids that homosexuality is okay—which is treatable, changeable, you don't have to be homosexual, but if you are, you are at significiantly higher risks of mental harm, pshycial harm, emotional harmm and spiritual harm—we cant be a part of that. (Source; starts around 2:00 mark)
-- Compared a license plate benefitting an LGBT youth center to a plate promoting smoking; claimed the youth center "recruits" gays: "You have to question what the BMV was thinking when they approved a license plate for a group which recruits teens into the homosexual lifestyle. Since health risks do not seem to matter, what is to prevent a cigar club from now getting a license plate from the BMV?"
-- Equates homosexuality with bestiality and adultery: "The Judeo-Christian worldview at the heart of Western culture and so our legal and governmental systems (Ten Commandments, an "eye for an eye," the very concepts of mercy, justice and rehabilitation) promotes marriage and family while decrying other modes of sexuality -- homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, etc"
-- Refers to details surrounding Matthew Shepard's tragic murder as gay activist "propaganda;" claims the real takeaway from the gay man's brutal murder is that marriage should be "strengthened" (i.e. gays should be blocked from to) so that drug abuse will be discouraged
-- While attempting to defeat federal hate crimes laws protecting LGBT people, falsely claimed pedophilia is a sexual orientation on par with homosexuality
-- Claims “[b]anning same-sex marriages and civil unions will prove to be the greatest moral battle of this generation.”
-- Distributed fear flier falsely claiming that pastors could be jailed for preaching against homosexuality once same-sex marriage passes
GLAAD shared the graphic, which was liked over 5,000 times and shared over 18,000 times on Facebook.
The Commentator Accountability Project aims to put critical information about frequent anti-gay interviewees into the hands of newsrooms, editors, hosts and reporters. Journalists or producers who are on deadline often don't have the time to dig into the histories of a commentator. Audiences need to be aware that when they’re not talking to the mainstream media, these voices are comparing LGBT people to Nazi Germany, predicting that equal treatment of LGBT people will lead to the total collapse of society, and even making accusations of satanic influence.
The Commentator Accountability Project is bringing all of these statements to light, while calling attention to the sentiments behind them. We will show that the commentators who are most often asked to opine on issues like marriage equality or non-discrimination protections do not accurately represent the "other side" of those issues. They represent nothing but extreme animus towards the entire LGBT community.
Similar special exemption bills have been introduced in several states across the country, including in Georgia, and Arkansas.