Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | reid ribble | indiana | religious | freedom | left

GOP Rep. Ribble: Left Defining Conversation in Indiana Fight

By    |   Thursday, 02 April 2015 08:44 PM

The left is winning the political fight sparked by Indiana's religious freedom law, and the law's conservative supporters, including Gov. Mike Pence, are partly to blame for allowing themselves to be portrayed as homophobes instead of defenders of the right to worship, says Rep. Reid Ribble.

"The folks on the left have found this wedge and they're trying to make a much larger political issue out of it than what it is in reality," the three-term Wisconsin Republican told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Thursday. "But that's how politics work and that's how the game of politics is played, and Republicans need to get better at it, quite frankly."

Story continues below video.

Note: Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349 and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now


"Listen, I know Gov. Mike Pence personally — I served with him in Congress. There's not a bigoted bone in this man's body," said Ribble, "but clearly there were some missteps along the way."

The Republican governor, who is discussed as a 2016 presidential candidate, last week signed a religious freedom restoration act (RFRA) into law — and saw it become a national story, with him cast as the heavy.

Critics alleged that Indiana's RFRA was written to sanction anti-LGBT discrimination based on religious censure of homosexual behavior. Condemnations of the law poured in from public figures including Apple computer's openly gay CEO, Tim Cook, along with threats of economic reprisals.

Pence angrily denied the law is discriminatory but has promised to amend it with help from his legislature, which has drafted new RFRA language banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

A similar bill in Arkansas passed the legislature over objections from people and companies including the state's largest employer, Wal-Mart, but Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson is refusing to sign it without revisions to outlaw discrimination.

Ribble said that in the public campaigns against the laws "there were also missteps by corporate America, who are trying to have it both ways."

"The idea that Wal-Mart can say they don't want to sell in Arkansas, or Apple said they don't want to sell in Indiana, but they're happy to sell in countries around the globe who actually imprison and kill members of the gay community, is really hypocritical," he said.

Ribble also said the portrayal of the Indiana law as enabling discrimination so long as religion is the rationale "is ridiculous on its face."

He added that the marketplace is equipped to deal with religious practices that customers might find objectionable. He cited the Christian-owned pizzeria in Indiana that closed indefinitely on Wednesday after being inundated with insults and threats.

The proprietors told a local television station that they would serve gay customers, but said they wouldn't cater a gay wedding, and they defended the law as protection for people with their beliefs.

But if one business decides to forgo a transaction because of a religious objection, another will step in, said Ribble.

"Ultimately there'll be lots of businesses that would take advantage, that might put rainbow flags on their doors and welcome the gay community in," he said, "and they will profit from that."

Looking ahead to 2016, Ribble said he is not convinced that Republicans need to attract more LGBT voters to win the presidency — but they should try to, anyway, regardless of electoral math.

"We ought to win and earn their vote," he said. "We ought to have communication. We ought to be talking with them so we understand what their issues are. We could do that if we would take a different posture."

He said the GOP could help itself by being "willing first to seek to understand before asking to be understood."

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Headline
The left is winning the political fight sparked by Indiana's religious freedom law, and the law's conservative supporters, including Gov. Mike Pence, are partly to blame for allowing themselves to be portrayed as homophobes instead of defenders of the right to worship, says Rep. Reid Ribble.
reid ribble, indiana, religious, freedom, left, defining, argument
725
2015-44-02
Thursday, 02 April 2015 08:44 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved