Mike Pence’s Indiana Religious Freedom Bill an Issue in 2016?

AP Photo/Michael Conroy
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

With Indiana Gov. and potential 2016 GOP presidential contender Mike Pence signing “a controversial state Senate bill that simply states the government can’t interfere with people and businesses exercising their religious beliefs,” the media is now ripe with speculation that the issue may be in play in the presidential politics of 2016.

That may be true, despite the fact that all the law does is bring Indiana in line with the current position of 19 other states and is an “affirmation” of the recent U.S. Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision.

Pence posed the new law as an innocuous affirmation of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, against the mandate for employer-provided birth-control coverage under Obamacare.

Known as a social conservative, Pence has said he’s considering a White House run and will reportedly decide sometime this spring.

Pence went on to elaborate on his position regarding the state legislation.

Pence defended the law at a press conference on Friday after he signed it, saying it is “not about discrimination” and pointing to similar laws in other states, and to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by president Bill Clinton. Pence said he thinks there has been a lot of “misunderstanding” surrounding the bill.

That did not, however, stop the reactionary Left—along with some forever attention-seeking celebrities pretending to have a clue about the law—from weighing in. Surely, as ABC reported, everyone can agree Miley Cyrus’s most insightful contribution was incredibly enlightening.

Since Pence signed the bill, critics have lashed out at the governor online. Miley Cyrus posted a photo of Pence on Instagram, calling the governor an “a**hole.” Businesses reportedly lobbied against the bill, and Yelp’s CEO said it sets a “terrible precedent.”

Meanwhile, as governing must not be enough of a challenge for the city government of San Francisco, they opted to boycott Indiana trips. One can only imagine the disappointment of Indianans when they learn that San Francisco-based political functionary may forgo the Indianapolis 500 this year, or some such silliness.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced that he is banning all city-funded trips to Indiana in light of the passing of what some call discriminatory legislation.

“We stand united as San Franciscans to condemn Indiana’s new discriminatory law, and will work together to protect the civil rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals,” Lee said in a statement.

To the extent the issue actually surfaces as important in 2016 remains to be seen. At this point, what does seem clear is the media and Left’s intention to make it so.