Indiana Governor Mike Pence said today that he “mishandled” the passage of a religious freedom law and he now wants a piece of legislation to “clarify” that it does not give anyone the right to discriminate in the state.
“This law does not give anyone a license to deny services to gay and lesbian couples. I could have handled that better this week,” he said, according to ABC News.
The move comes just as the House of Representatives in Arkansas passed amendments to a similar religious freedom bill that is expected to be signed into law when the governor signs the complete version, something that has already announced that he plans to do.
Pence said that he has been working with state legislators and businesses “literally around the clock” to work through the controversy, saying that “discrimination was never part of his plan.”
“I don’t believe for a minute that it was the intention of the general assembly. … It certainly wasn’t my intent but I can appreciate that that’s become the perception … and we need to confront that and we need to confront that boldly,” he said.
The changes that Pence mentioned are expected to be put into a “stripped version” of an election-related bill that is supposed to be debated Wednesday or Thursday by a conference committee. That is what Indiana’s Republican speaker of the House’s spokesman Brian Bosma told ABC News.
According to sports.yahoo.com, the controversy with the New England Patriots using under-inflated footballs during the AFC championship game started when Indianapolis Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass from Tom Brady. As the story went, Jackson noticed the ball was flatter than usual, and that news moved to the equipment manager to the coach to the general manager to the NFL to the game officials, who swapped out the under-inflated balls after halftime.
Jackson said he just wanted a souvenir and wanted to keep the ball. That’s common. Many players save balls after scoring touchdowns, or defensive players save interception balls, to put in their trophy case. Jackson reportedly did not know that it would lead to the story of the week in the NFL.
“I made a great play on a great player, so I handed (the ball) off and next thing I know, I’m in the middle of DeflateGate,” Jackson said to the Indianapolis Star. “I don’t know how that happened.”
Jackson reportedly said he didn’t know there was a controversy until the next Monday morning, the Star said.
On the ride home from the airport, his driver told him there was a growing controversy about the Patriots and under-inflated footballs. That was supposedly the first he had heard about it.
Jackson told NFL.com the only odd thing he noticed was that the Patriots were using the Colts’ footballs late in the first half. He had no idea why – he just found it strange and assumed the Patriots had run out of their own footballs to use.