A religious right activist co-opted progressive rhetoric to present Christians as victims of gay oppression in the battle over Indiana’s anti-LGBT law.
Charla Bansley, communications director for the Liberty Counsel, published a World Net Daily column asking, “Who will make Indianapolis the next Ferguson?” by holding rallies, marches, and candlelight vigils to support Republican Gov. Mike Pence and the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“Gov. Pence is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of 2015, courageously defending the bakers, photographers, florists, ministers, county clerks, and owners of wedding venues who, after a lifetime of acquiring skills and building businesses, have seen their livelihoods destroyed, forced to pay exorbitant fines and even threatened with jail,” Bansley said.
She falsely compared the Indiana law, which allows for-profit businesses to claim religious exemptions to discrimination suits, to similarly named legislation in other states – which generally do not.
“(The Indiana law) stops the denigration of the First Amendment by allowing people to live out their religious freedom,” Bansley claimed. “If judges are going to require a religious photographer to video a same-sex wedding, where do we draw the line? Should a PETA member be forced to film a slaughterhouse? Should a Greenpeace member be forced to video ‘Ax Men’ or ‘American Loggers’?”
She argued that Pence was taking a “principled stand” by “empowering people to confront government overreach.”
Bansley argued that the true victims of discrimination were “religious businesses” whose owners refused wedding-related services to same-sex couples.
“Homosexual activists went to the streets claiming the law would legalize discrimination, and Americans believed the false narrative,” she said.
Bansley urged religious conservatives to defend Christian business owners by rallying in Indiana.
“When we will as a church begin matching our words with action?” she asked. “If not now, then when?”