Obama White House Blasts Mike Pence For Lying About Indiana Religious Freedom Law


During his daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest blasted and debunked Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s lies about Indiana’s religious freedom law.


White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked if President Obama feels a need to amend the 1993 federal religious freedom law.

Earnest answered:

I know that Gov. Pence has tried to falsely suggest that the law that was signed in Indiana is the same as the law that was passed at the federal level in 1993. That is not true, and the reason that that’s not true is that the 1993 law was an effort to protect the religious liberty of religious minorities based on actions that could be taken by the federal government.

The Indiana law is much broader. It doesn’t just apply to individuals or religious minorities. It applies to, and I’m quoting here, ‘a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, a company, a firm, a society, a joint stock company, or an unincorporated association.’ So this obviously is a significant expansion of the law in terms of the way that it would apply.


At the same time, it is also worth noting that the law in Indiana doesn’t just apply to interactions with the government. It also applies to private transactions as well, which means that this is a much more open-ended piece of legislation that could reasonably be used to try to justify discriminating against somebody because of who they love.

Earnest also described Pence as being in “damage control” mode.

Pence’s two main defenses of the law were pretty much destroyed by the White House Press Secretary. Pence continues to claim that the law does not legalize discrimination and that the Indiana law is just like the federal law that was signed in 1993. Gov. Pence is trying to kill the backlash that he caused without feeding the perception that he is backing down.

The Indiana law is not the same as the 1993 federal law for all of the reasons that Earnest listed. It is also not the same as what Clinton signed because Indiana Republicans based their law on the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.

Gov. Pence and the law’s defenders have been lying about the 1993 law, and the White House has called them out on it.

The Obama White House has not been afraid to speak out against discrimination, and today’s press briefing debunked the key components of the Republican defense of legalized discrimination.

43 Replies to “Obama White House Blasts Mike Pence For Lying About Indiana Religious Freedom Law”

  1. With the citizens united, hobby lobby decisions combined with their wins in the mid terms because 65%of us decided they rather wait in line for an iphone instead of voting the American Taliban think they have a blank check to impose their theocracy.

  2. This is a watershed issue. For years we have listened to conservative-vs-progressive ideological arguments. That has changed with the Indiana over-reach. We are now in the beginning of the religious-vs-secular wars and most of the nation is awake. Propose any sort of law permitting discrimination and get ready to go down in flames.

    We get it now. It’s about time. The goper haters better stock up on survival biscuits because they are going to be pushed back under their rocks.

    The bigots in their pulpits are going to find the collection plate seriously diminished of green stuff.

  3. But what have we been told throughout the years? Both sides are the same or both sides do it. Cant wait for the first idiot to post that nonsense

  4. Cutt-off federal funds for Indianastan NOW

    Indiana: When Barack Obama won Indiana’s electoral votes in 2008, it was an anomaly: Indiana, which went Republican in every presidential election from 1968-2004, is one of the most conservative states in the Midwest and is much more Republican than Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois or Michigan. Pundits have often said that when it comes to politics, Indiana is “more southern than the South.” But the disdain that Indiana Republicans often express for “big government” rings false because according to Wallet Hub, Indiana receives $2.01 from the federal government for every federal tax dollar it contributes and receives 33% of its funding from Uncle Sam. Indiana Republicans can hate coastal Democrats all they want, but without the federal tax revenue Democratic areas generate, Indiana would have a hard time functioning.”


  5. Shouldn’t have done that Mr. President, you are correct of course BUT! These bigoted Reich Wingers will now blame the law on YOU and your Administration and Liberals. In the eyes of the infantile Reich Wing every one else is to blame for their problems.

  6. I honestly cannot think of one gotper thats honest and not corrupt and not bowing to their Koch gods on their knees with outstretched arms. Not a one. They’re liars and cheats along with hypocrite “Christians”. They seem to worship a Christianity that rewrites itself to fit their agenda of hate and war.

  7. If all the GOP cares about is money, why do they care who it comes from? Last time I checked, the money spent by LGBT’s, African Americans & other minorities is the same as the money spent by Caucasian Christian Males. Money is money as people are people.

  8. Strange is it not? How every piece of Named-legislation introduced by a Con inevitably turns out to be the exact opposite of what it is named.

  9. Just spotted that the Arkansas legislature has passed their copy of the Indiana law and Asa Hutchinson, Gov., has said he will sign it.

    Here we go again.

  10. Amen!! And a lot of this we have the SCOTUS to thank for. But one thing it has done is given us incentive to go out and vote them out in 2016. THAT IS A MUST!!

  11. I respectfully disagree. Democrats need to stop being spineless, and they need to start proclaiming the truth loudly and boldly, with no apologies.

  12. If Pence’s lips are moving, he’s lying. He’s just pissed because he got caught this time. I think this might have been the hardest thing he has ever had to do. Having to bend to the will of the people, for him it was like burying a loved one. He still won’t admit the truth. If there is a rewrite, it needs to be examined closely.

  13. Gov. Dannel Malloy from Connecticut cuts to the chase:

    Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) on Tuesday described Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) as a “bigot” and said that politicians have a responsibility to speak out against Indiana’s divisive religious freedom law.

    Pence is “not a stupid man, but he’s done stupid things,” Malloy said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And signing this law — and quite frankly promoting this law, knowing exactly what it was going to do — was an incredibly stupid thing for him to do.”

    “When you see a bigot, you have to call them on it,” he said.

    Later in the segment, Malloy said Pence made his intentions clear when he signed the bill into law flanked by “three homophobic men who have made it a part of their business to make gay people as miserable as possible.”


  14. So true. Ryan’s budgets were called “the path to prosperity.” Remember Glenn Grothman of WI, the then-state senator called the protestors in Madison a bunch of slobs? He inexplicably won that U.S. congressional seat last November, and he’s pushing something called (I’m paraphrasing here), the Family Flexibility Act.

    Here’s what it really is: Grothman proposed rolling back a Wisconsin law requiring employers to give workers at least one day of rest per week. He told the Huffington Post the existing state law was “a little goofy” and his proposal was about “freedom.” “Right now in Wisconsin, you’re not supposed to work seven days in a row, which is a little ridiculous because all sorts of people want to work seven days a week,” he said.

  15. sorry DJ but you’re this first comment on this list..

    the battle has moved to Arkansas which has passed a law similar to Indiana’s… the next reports should be from there and I hope that the outrage for that is as loud as this one for Indiana,,,

  16. DJ..I hear you. There are so many things he has done as governor that are totally unproductive for the middle class.

    He is not an angel, I get it.

    New businesses starting up in NYS get 10 years of tax-free status. Go figure? Who ends up paying through the nose for that?

    I am just glad my state is denying this ridiculous bigoted law, whether I lived in NY or tim buck 2..lol. This is not going to go away, pretty soon it will apply to all of us who are not right wing extremists.

  17. What truly amazes me is that the Republicans and the religious leaders still think they can dictate belief and morals. They must not be reading the same Bible. Either that or they forgot that we fall under the New Testament not the Old. Did they not read the Old Testament and the problems the Pharisee’s ran into? Perhaps they should lead by example and stop all the bickering, finger pointing, back stabbing, grow up and stop fighting like kids in a day care. Belief is personal and cannot be forced or coerced. It is between that person and God or whoever or whatever a person chooses to believe in. Why do you think we still have problems in the Middle East? Because they want to force people to believe like them. How are the Republicans and religious leaders here any different? It might seem more civilized but if it smells like a rat, looks like a rat, and behaves like a rat, it’s still a rat. This goes for you too Hobby Lobby.

    My mom trained me to cut through the bull pucky.

  18. No wonder the Church is losing followers for the contradiction of the far right religious insisting God is a loving and benevolent God when they endorse bigotry and racism as Holy. Now religious extremes are being adopted by elected politicians who are doing everything within their power to dismantle the Constitution. What the ‘hell’ is it going to take eligible voters to get out and vote in 2016. Hopefully when these apathetic non-voters wake up to reality of what is going on beneath their noses, it won’t be too late for the rest of us!

  19. One side belongs to the statesmen and nation builders. The other side belongs to the elitists and Dominionists! The Dominionists are the politicians!

  20. It just goes to prove you can’t fix stupid. If Arkansas follows Indiana off the cliff by enacting the same discriminatory law, then they deserve the same boycotts as Indiana. Indiana chose to jump off a cliff and it looks like Arkansas is eager to follow.

  21. Indiana’s and other States’ So-called “Religious Freedom” laws are nothing more than schemes of oppression to eviscerate all other civil rights. All are contrary to the Constitution and the values and intent of our nation’s founders.

  22. I agree, djchefron. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is NOT his dear late father, hard-fighting father, Mario.

    In fact, I often wonder why anyone still considers Andrew a Democrat when he acts like a Republican – and is good buddies with Gov. Chris Christie.

  23. You would think that, wouldn’t you? It seems that there IS a difference though, as if “gay” were some sort of disease that can sneak into wallets and bank accounts if LGBT money is accepted into ones hand. The legislation proposed in Arkansas and Indiana are perfect examples of how it’s truly a “phobia” and not just a dislike of behavior.

  24. Dene, You can’t vote SCOTUS out. They are appointed. What we can do is vote for progressive candidates who will not appoint such partisan political animals to the court.

  25. I’m sure several states will try to come up with their own versions of the Indiana hate law. Probably all in the South, the Great Plains, Deseret (=Utah), Deseret North (=Idaho) and Walkerstan.

  26. Sadly- it was George Stephanopolis who interviewed Pence and didn’t point out the differnce between the law signed by Pence and the law signed by Clinton- whose administration George actually worked for.

  27. Haha it never ceases to amaze me how liberals always blame a lack of turnout for loses. Maybe people are just sick & tire of obozo
    [Snipped. Sorry, you lost us at “obozo”]
    Being gay is not a civil right it is a personal choice.

  28. Pence needs to repeal the law and resign! There is no place in our democracy for govt mandated hate and discrimination, period.

  29. Pence has done more harm to lndiana than any other person in history. First the jerk signed the “right to work” bill that trashed unions. Years of work protecting wages and jobs gone due to his playing to the special interest money men. One of his big contributions came from the private prison industry so decriminalization of weed isn’t even talked about. He is trying to get a new bill passed to make it legal for him to run for president while holding the job he has now. To show his true colors the latest shot in his foot was signed in a private meeting with some of the bible thumpers he was kissing ass. Pence is a waste and a point that is proof positive of that is Cruz thinks Pence is right!If god was real you would think he would save the world from this sort of stupidity.

  30. Do you believe that if my God believes it is a sin to be gay it will be alright for me to participate in a gay wedding? Where is my rights? Does this mean I shouldn’t be able to have a business because I believe people that don’t believe in Jesus will burn in Hell!!!

  31. Psst–the Bible doesn’t say “Thou Shalt Not Cater Gay Weddings”. Some people interpret it to say not to engage in homosexual activities, but the overarching message is to still love thy neighbor and cater their wedding regardless of their own orientation. It’s a bad Christian who turns down helping someone else living their own life. Need I remind you of Jesus’s closeness with a prostitute and sinners of all colors, creeds, etc?

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