That claim [that the Indiana's Religious Freedom is not an attempt to discriminate but to empower people] is impossible to square with his [Indiana Gov. Pence] refusal to consider a statewide law protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination (about a dozen Indiana cities, including most of the largest ones, already have such laws). On Sunday, Mr. Pence said he agreed that it would be helpful to “clarify” the law’s intent, even though it is already perfectly clear. The freedom to exercise one’s religion is not under assault in Indiana, or anywhere else in the country. Religious people — including Christians, who continue to make up the majority of Americans — may worship however they wish and say whatever they like.
But religion should not be allowed to serve as a cover for discrimination in the public sphere. In the past, racial discrimination was also justified by religious beliefs, yet businesses may not refuse service to customers because of their race. Such behavior should be no more tolerable when it is based on sexual orientation.