CC: Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina
Quad City Times // Editorial Board
Just last week, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence invited a handful of religious conservatives to a private signing of his Religious Freedoms bill, a vague appeal to religious exclusionists aligned with anti-gay initiatives. The bill flew through Indiana’s Republican-controlled legislature. Just five Republicans voted against it. …So the Indiana governor’s socially conservative tactic didn’t just backfire. It ignited a war between Indiana’s traditional conservatives and the tea party wing Pence helped bring to power.
Dubuque Telegraph Herald // Editorial Board
That Indiana is facing a firestorm of criticism and protest over last week's enactment of a so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act may not say as much about the Hoosier state as Americans' shifting attitudes over gay marriage and LGBT issues…There has been significant movement over the past few years regarding Americans` attitudes toward gay marriage and other LGBT issues. The pendulum has swiftly swung away from discrimination. Owners of businesses have no better reason for refusing to sell a gay couple flowers or a cake for their wedding than their ancestors did for refusing to serve blacks at lunch counters and hotels 50 (or fewer) years ago. Providing a product or service to a LGBT customer is not an endorsement of the customer`s lifestyle. The customer wants to buy flowers or photographs, not drag the business owner to church or a gay-pride parade.
Iowa State Daily // Editorial
Indiana took a big step backward in civil rights on Thursday when Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. The new law will allow Indiana businesses to legally refuse services to people who are gay. This is the first bill to become law under a movement of states that have legislation moving through the state legislatures to “protect religious freedoms.”…Those who worry that the vague nature of the law’s language will create a gray area that facilitates discrimination have more than enough reason for concern, especially because the law itself is a nearly textbook example or dictionary definition of discrimination.
Nashua Telegraph // Editorial
The uproar in Indiana will probably put an end to talk about Mike Pence as a possible presidential candidate – he made a test-the-waters visit to New Hampshire in the fall – but more importantly, it should serve as a lesson to those who favor greater religious protections. The way to achieve it is not by discriminating against others. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with religious history should know that.
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript // Editorial
Big businesses have already threatened to pull their money and events out of the Hoosier state. Several states, including New York and Connecticut, have banned state-funded travel to Indiana in the wake of the bill’s signing. But there are a vocal few who have made their support of Gov. Pence and the bill quite clear: the majority of the perceived frontrunners for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush fired up the bandwagon, and was quickly joined on his ride by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, all of whom defended Gov. Pence in lockstep.…These politicians need to be held accountable for their stance on this issue, and when voters and media members have their chance to question the potential nominees, we hope they won’t have forgotten this misstep. Discrimination under any guise is just plain wrong, and it’s hard to imagine electing someone for any position who feels otherwise.