“I think everyone on both sides of this issue was surprised at the size of the backlash, and that forced Indiana lawmakers to recalibrate that legislation,” said Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and international affairs and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington.
“Increasingly, Republicans are saying [gay marriage] is a matter for the states,” Farnsworth said. “They’re not saying this is an abomination, and that’s a very big difference.”
That lesson came too late for any presidential ambitions Gov. Pence might have harbored, the professor added.
“What he has done is anger both sides,” Farnsworth said. “He angered the pro-gay rights community by passing the law in the first place, then he angered the conservatives for backing down.”