The simple fix, aside from somehow clarifying that RFRA does not license discrimination, would be to add sexual orientation as a protected classification under the state’s civil rights law. And there is growing pressure on Indiana to do exactly that, one positive consequence of the public debate. If anything, the biggest silver lining of the Indiana RFRA backlash has been the increased awareness of LGBT discrimination issues across the country. Such awareness will be wasted, however, if advocates and officials do not act swiftly to channel the anger in the right direction.

As far as Indiana goes, although Pence appeared to agree at today’s press conference that discrimination against gays and lesbians should be illegal, he also has said multiple times that expanding the state’s civil rights law is a separate issue—one that is “not on my agenda.”

Instead, the governor places his faith in the people of his state. As he told ABC News on Sunday: “Hoosiers don’t believe in discrimination. . . . People tell me when I travel around the country, gosh, I went to your state and people are so nice.” In other words, gay and lesbian citizens of Indiana can always rely on the kindness of strangers.

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