By Dom Giordano
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- That old saying about timing being everything in life certainly applies to what Indiana Governor Mike Pence is experiencing since he signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This law mirrors laws that exist in 18 other states and is very similar to the federal law that President Bill Clinton signed into law into 1993. In various interviews, Pence has seemed totally surprised at the reaction his state is receiving.
My theory is that Indiana is the first state to pass a law like this since support for same sex marriage in Gallup polling consistently passed 50 percent. This law is seen by many as flying in the face of a wave of public opinion. Also, the NCAA Final Four is headed to Indianapolis this weekend, and this has intensified the national spotlight.
This weekend, we will see a tremendous number of celebrities try to outdo each other to establish that they are supporters of gay rights and same sex marriage. This is unfortunate, because this issue sets up an interesting debate between the rights of all Americans to avoid discrimination and the right of sincerely religious people to follow their consciences.
I knew this issue had reached a white hot level when I debate Malcolm Lazin of the Equality Forum this past weekend on Fox 29. Malcolm is gay and is a conservative, and he and I always have a good debate. In his first salvo, he called Indiana's law "a Taliban law." This was out of character and a clear signal that this debate would be intense.
I recognize that I can't see this from the same perspective of apprehension as Lazin and other gay people; however, I think in addition to everything else, the free marketplace will sort out this issue. If some businesses in this area won't serve gay people, they will suffer greatly.
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