First Openly Gay Congressman Says ‘Prejudice Is Alive and Well’ in Indiana

House Financial Services Cmte Holds Hearing On Impact Of Dodd-Frank Act
Win McNamee—Getty Images Former House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) testifies before the House Financial Services Committee July 23, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Barney Frank speaks out against the state's new law and says a federal version he supported was "overly drawn"

The first openly gay member of Congress said Indiana’s controversial new religious freedom law sends a clear message that the state discriminates, and that he now regrets his role in passing a federal law that has been used to justify similar state laws sweeping the country.

“It’s a statement by the state: ‘Prejudice is alive and well in our state,'” former Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank said in an interview with TIME.

Frank spoke to TIME on Tuesday after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, bowing to days of criticism from business leaders, gay rights groups and others, urged state lawmakers to clarify that the measure doesn’t allow businesses to discriminate against gay customers or anyone else. He said Pence’s comments that the law was never meant to discriminate were undermined by statements from supporters of the law who had raised the prospect of it allowing businesses to refuse services for same-sex weddings.

MORE: Uproar Over Religious Freedom Law Trips Up Indiana Governor

“He said the law that was passed—which was specifically to allow people to discriminate against gay people—does not allow you to discriminate against gay people,” Frank said. “If that were in fact the case, there wouldn’t have been any law.”

And he expressed dismay that a federal law signed in the 1990s by then-President Bill Clinton with his support, which initially came about to protect the religious practice of Native Americans using the illegal drug peyote for ceremonial purposes, was being used for political cover by Pence and Republicans pushing similar measures elsewhere. That bill was intended as a “shield for people for their own religious practices,” he said, not as a “sword” used to discriminate. “I now believe that the federal version… was overly drawn, and that people were not thinking about the extent to which it would be an exception to any discrimination laws. I’d like to go back and redo some of the federal law. A number of us did not pay sufficient attention to it.”

Pence signed the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law last Thursday, igniting a national firestorm and shining a spotlight on his state’s capital just days before it hosts the NCAA Final Four tournament. Critics of the law argue it’s an open door for discrimination, while some proponents including Pence say it is simply meant to protect religious liberty from government overreach and doesn’t allow any form of discrimination. Hours after Pence bemoaned “mischaracterizations” of the law and acknowledged being “taken aback” by the uproar, Arkansas lawmakers gave final approval to a similar measure.

“I abhor discrimination,” Pence told reporters Tuesday. “This law does not give anyone a license to deny services to gay and lesbian couples.”

Frank, who served in Congress from 1981 to 2013, said he, too, was surprised by the intensity of the backlash: “I have said for years that I’ve continually been surprised by how fast we are progressing in defeating anti-LGBT prejudice.”

“He’s not a Tea Party guy—I served with him in the House—he was one of the more conservative members,” Frank said of Pence, who hasn’t ruled out a campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.“But I think in this case he is suffering from a severe case of cultural lag. You know, a few years ago this would have been acceptable.”

Read next: Miley Cyrus Says Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law Supporters ‘Are Dinosaurs, and They Are Dying Off’

TIME States

Indiana Governor Urges Clarification of Controversial Religious Freedom Law

“This law does not give anyone a license to deny services to gay and lesbian couples," Mike Pence said

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence urged state lawmakers Tuesday to amend a controversial new religious freedom law to clarify that it does not allow businesses to discriminate, bowing to days of criticism that the measure was an invitation to refuse services to gay customers.

“After much reflections and consultation with the leadership of the General Assembly, I’ve come to the conclusion it would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear this law does not give businesses the right to deny services to anyone,” Pence said in a news conference.

The clarification to the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act would explicitly state that the law does not give businesses the right to discriminate. Pence is pushing to enact the change this week.

The law, which Pence signed last week, has ignited a national firestorm from opponents who decry it as anti-gay. Activists pointed to statements made by advocates of the law, who said that florists, for example, could deny service to weddings of gay couples. Business leaders, from Indiana health corporations to Apple CEO Tim Cook, also spoke out against the law, and a movement to boycott Indiana gained traction Monday.

MORE: Uproar Over Religious Freedom Law Trips Up Indiana’s Governor

Pence staunchly defended the law on Tuesday, even as he called for an amendment that would address what he called “mischaracterizations” about the bill.

“This law does not give anyone a license to deny services to gay and lesbian couples,” Pence said. “The language I’m talking about adding would be consistent with what the General Assembly intended, and certainly what I intended.”

Pence said he was stunned by the backlash the law prompted. He attributed the controversy to “reckless” media coverage of the law.

“Was I expecting this kind of backlash? Heavens, no,” Pence said. “Candidly, when this erupted last week, I was taken aback.”

MORE: 5 Things to Know About Mike Pence

A federal version of the law was enacted by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993, and an Illinois version was supported by then-Sen. Barack Obama. Almost 20 states have similar laws on the books. The law, proponents say, would protect religious liberties from government overreach. Proponents have pointed to the example of a Muslim prisoner who would want to have a beard despite prison regulations against facial hair as the kind of individual the law would seek to protect. But at a moment when same-sex marriage is increasingly sweeping the country, advocates have seized on a moment to paint it as a relic from another era.

Pence, who has not ruled out a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has drawn national criticism for the law, as well as support from conservatives and some GOP presidential candidates. Pence will announce whether or not he will run for president at the end of April at the earliest.

TIME 2016 Election

Uproar Over Religious Freedom Law Trips Up Indiana’s Governor

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 26, 2015.
Michael Conroy—AP Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 26, 2015.

Mike Pence is on the defensive over a law decried as discriminatory

Spring wasn’t supposed to start this way for Mike Pence.

The Indiana Republican governor had planned to spend April finalizing the state budget and pushing a new education initiative, all while quietly staying above the fray of the 2016 presidential race while he watched the field take shape — and waited to see if an opportunity materialized. Instead, he has suddenly found himself under fire from gay-rights groups, business leaders and even the owner of the Indianapolis Colts. All because of backlash from a newly enacted law that he doesn’t seem to have seen coming.

The fallout continued Monday when Indiana business executives, including major health care providers and Internet companies, sent a letter to Pence urging him to clarify the law and expressing concern “about the impact it is having on our employees and on the reputation of our state.” The head of the NCAA, which has its headquarters in Indianapolis and is set to host college basketball’s Final Four there in April, raised the prospect of not holding championship events there in the future. And the band Wilco said it would cancel a May 7 show because the law “feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination.” Pence, bowing to days of criticism, urged lawmakers Tuesday to send him legislative language making clear that the law doesn’t allow discrimination.

The law, officially called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and signed Thursday by Pence, prohibits any measure that would “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. Supporters defend it as a protection of religious freedom at a moment when voters and courts have increasingly legalized same-sex marriage across the country — including in Indiana last year. Opponents decry it as an invitation for businesses to deny services to gay customers. And caught in the middle is Pence, who angrily defended the law and dismissed media coverage of it as “shameful” in a nationally televised interview on Sunday.

MORE: 5 Things to Know About Mike Pence

“There’s been shameless rhetoric about my state, and about this law, and about its intention all over the Internet,” he said on ABC’s This Week. “This is not about discrimination. This is about empowering people to confront government overreach.”

Pence, whose office didn’t respond to a request for comment Monday, is correct in noting that almost 20 other states have adapted similar measures and that the Indiana bill is similar to a federal law enacted by former President Bill Clinton. Illinois also passed a similar law with the support of then state senator Barack Obama.

“The issue here is still: Is tolerance a two-way street or not?” Pence said Sunday, echoing other conservatives in arguing that tolerance for religiously based opposition to same-sex marriage should be supported just like tolerance for gay marriage itself.

But there’s little question that the controversy has put Pence on the defensive at a time when his potential 2016 rivals are moving full speed ahead in the campaign.

A relative unknown on the national stage, the former Congressman has steadily built his conservative credentials both as a lawmaker and the state’s chief executive. He gave a keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, and is touted as a full-spectrum conservative who can unite fiscal conservatives, social conservatives and business-friendly establishment Republicans. While he hasn’t made the same moves toward a presidential campaign that some other Republicans have, his widely-known support from the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers could make him a potent candidate if he runs.

Now, though, he’s been forced to defend a legal framework that opponents dismiss as a relic of the past, even if it was one once supported by Clinton.

“If you’re perceived rightly or wrongly to be antigay, there’s not much political upside for that,” said Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist who ran John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “Laws like this unnecessarily put the two [GOP] wings in tension with each other.”

Sticking to his position might be the most surefire way to maintain conservative support at this point. After all, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who became a GOP front-runner after high-profile confrontations with organized labor, has demonstrated the potency of using a polarizing issue to gain conservative acclaim nationally.

“Governor Pence right now has the opportunity to win the Republican nomination by standing firm,” said Mike Farris, a conservative constitutional lawyer who in 1993 helped draft the federal bill singed by Clinton. “But if he weasels out of this in order to please the clamor from the mainstream media, he will lose any chance whatsoever of winning.”

Critics of the Indiana law have included presumptive Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and Apple CEO Tim Cook. Fellow Republican Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina joined the chorus Monday, saying a similar bill backed GOP lawmakers in the Tar Heel State “makes no sense.”

“What is the problem they’re trying to solve?” McCrory said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I haven’t seen it at this point in time.”

It may not end up mattering much for Pence’s long-term political hopes if he ultimately doesn’t run this time. And a Republican fundraiser close to Pence pegged the chances of him doing so at less than 10%. Still, in one of his first major forays onto the national stage, even Republicans acknowledge that Pence let opponents outmaneuver him in defining the policy.

“This is a case where the opposition groups defined this bill around discrimination before Mike Pence and supporters of it could definite around religious liberty,” said Republican strategist Kevin Madden, who advised Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns. “And it’s created a political headache for Mike Pence as a result of that.”

MORE: What You Need to Know About Indiana’s New Law

TIME 2016 Election

5 Things to Know About the Governor Behind Indiana’s Controversial New Law

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis on March 26, 2015.
Michael Conroy–AP Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis on March 26, 2015.

Meet Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence waded into a fervid national controversy last week when he signed into law a bill that critics say would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians in his state. A relative unknown on the national stage until recently, the Republican found himself facing protests and sharp questions over the weekend. The measure Pence signed says Indiana can’t “substantially burden” the religious freedom of people, businesses and associations in the state. But critics say it’s a blank check for discrimination, and would allow businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians. Pence defended the law Sunday, telling ABC: “This is not about discrimination this is about empowering people to confront government overreach.”

It may not be the best national publicity for Pence, who has been called a “dark horse” for the Republican presidential nomination. Here are five things to know about the man in the news.

Pence hasn’t ruled out running for president

The Indiana governor has long been floated as a possible presidential candidate, and Pence backers tout his conservative credentials. Pence has said he will decide whether to make a run for the GOP nomination at the end of April at the earliest, citing his focus in the meantime on his budget and education agenda in Indiana.

MORE: What You Need to Know About Indiana’s Controversial New Law

Pence has dropped hints that he’s looking earnestly at a candidacy. “Some say the next [presidential] nominee in our party should be a governor, and I’m certainly sympathetic to that view,” Pence joked last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

He hasn’t done much lay the groundwork, though. While Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz are all actively raising money for a White House contest, Pence would be making a late start.

He is a favorite of the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers

Support from the Koch brothers and GOP donors in general are a key factor in any presidential campaign, and the Koch brothers are known to think highly of Pence. Their political group, Americans for Prosperity, has been drawing attention to Pence’s work in Indiana as a hallmark of good governorship. And Pence’s former chief of staff now runs a Koch political enterprise called Freedom Partners. With the Koch brothers planning to spend nearly $1 billion in the 2016 cycle on conservative candidates, Pence could be a major beneficiary if he runs.

His father was oil distributor who ran gas stations in Indiana

Pence’s father was a businessman, a bit of family history that always plays well in elections. Edward Pence was an Army veteran and operated several gas stations, and Pence’s grandfather was a Chicago bus driver who immigrated to the United States from Ireland in the early 1920s.

He’s a former talk-show radio host

Pence produced “The Mike Pence Show,” which aired on 18 radio stations in the mid 1990s, and hosted a morning TV show in Indianapolis from 1995 to 1999. After his stint in radio, Pence tread the well-beaten path from radio studio to Washington, where he served 12 years as a Congressman from Indiana and rose to a position in House leadership before being elected governor in 2012.

Pence’s backers say he can appeal to all the wings of the Republican Party

Many of the GOP presidential hopefuls have a serious Achilles heel. Staunch conservatives dislike Jeb Bush’s positions on immigration and education, and Cruz is loathed by many in the establishment wing of the party as a hard-liner who is unable to compromise. But Pence’s supporters say he may be able to appeal to all wings of the GOP, bridging a divide between the business-friendly establishment faction, the small-government Tea Party faction, and the social conservative faction. The religious freedom bill Pence signed last week may have flopped initially on the national stage, but it will likely appeal to more religious primary voters.

TIME Crime

1 Dead in Shooting Outside NSA Headquarters

An aerial view of a shooting scene at the National Security Agency at Fort Meade in Maryland is pictured in this still image take from video, March 30, 2015.
NBC 4 Washington—Reuters An aerial view of a shooting scene at the National Security Agency at Fort Meade in Maryland is pictured in this still image take from video, March 30, 2015.

A shootout ensued after a vehicle attempted to ram the gates near NSA headquarters in Fort Meade

One person is dead and two people have been hospitalized after a violent incident at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, authorities said.

A vehicle attempted to ram the gates near the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland at around 9:30am, the local Fox News affiliate reports. A shootout ensued. Officials believe the two people in the car who rammed the gate were men dressed as women, CBS News reports.

Two people were flown to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma with serious injuries, and authorities said another was dead at the scene. The FBI told the Associated Press on Monday that the shooting was not believed to be related to terrorism, but further details are yet to emerge.

In addition to the NSA headquarters, Fort Meade is a base for 95 units of the armed forces, including 11,000 Army employees.

[Fox News]

TIME Aviation

Remains of Germanwings Co-Pilot Reportedly Identified in Wreckage

The remains of Andreas Lubitz could yield important clues

Authorities believe they have identified the remains of the Germanwings co-pilot who apparently crashed the plane into the French Alps and killed all 150 people aboard last week, according to a new report.

The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, citing unnamed French investigators, reported that remains of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz were identified on Saturday using DNA matching. The 27-year-old Lubitz’s remains could yield important clues about the reasons for the crash, including whether he was using drugs or on depression medications, forensic scientists told Der Spiegel.

Lubitz was alone the cockpit of the Airbus A320 when the plane struck a mountainside in the French Alps, authorities have said. A French prosecutor said Lubitz intentionally flew the plane into the ground, even as the captain, who was outside the cockpit, banged on the door demanding to be let back in and passengers screamed in terror.

In the days since the crash it has emerged that Lubitz had undisclosed mental health issues and also sought treatment for vision problems that may have affected his ability to fly a plane.

[Bild am Sonntag]

TIME celebrities

Here’s Snoop Dogg Sitting on the Iron Throne

He's from Vest-eros

Ah, the replica Iron Throne. Anyone who sits in the (very uncomfortable-looking) iron chair from Game of Thrones looks like a total boss, and Snoop Dogg is no exception. He enjoyed his faux moment ruling over Westeros at the #CatchTheThrone party at SXSW, and thank god, Game of Thrones tweeted it.

Still, Snoop Dogg isn’t a player in the Game of Thrones. He’s a playa in the rap game, and he’s wearing an amazing white vest and a gold chain to remind everyone of that.

Enjoy this photo of Snoop looking fresh and completely unfazed to be sitting on the Iron Throne.

TIME Foreign Policy

White House Questions Israeli Leader’s Commitment to Peace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington on March 2, 2015.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington on March 2, 2015.

Obama spokesman says the U.S. will have to "re-asses its options" after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rhetoric on a two-state solution

The White House expressed doubt Friday about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after Netanyahu twice reversed his stance this week before and after a bitter election fight.

“The divergent comments of the Prime Minister legitimately call into question his commitment to this policy principle and his lack of commitment to what has been the foundation of our policy-making in the region,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in comments reported by the New York Times.

Netanyahu, Earnest said, had raised questions about his “true view” on a two-state solution. “Words matter,” Earnest said.

Ahead of elections this week in which it appeared Netanyahu was close to being unseated, the Prime Minister said there would be no Palestinian state if he were reelected, changing a position he had taken years earlier. He then retracted his comments later in the week.

For the United States, a Palestinian state alongside Israel has been a central element of Middle East policy, and Netanyahu’s comments soured an already tenuous relationship with the White House and with President Obama.

Earnest called on Friday for a “careful reassessment of our decision-making moving forward when it comes to Mideast policy.”

Friday was the second day in a row the White House has expressed anger at Netanyahu’s comments. On Thursday, Obama told Netanyahu that the United States would have to “re-assess our options” after the Prime Minister’s comments on the two-state solution.

Obama also appealed on Friday to Iranian youth, urging them to pressure their leaders to accept a deal over the country’s nuclear program, a deal Netanyahu opposes even as Iranian and western negotiators are still hammering out the details. The video marked the occasion of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, a celebration that Obama has used in the past to deliver message to the Iranian populace.

“For decades our nations have been separated by mistrust and fear,” Obama said. “A nuclear deal now can help open the door in the future for you, the Iranian people.”

-Additional reporting by Maya Rhodan

TIME Innovation

How Livestreaming Could Save Your Town’s Orchestra

LA Opera music director and conductor James Conlon rehearses "Lucia Di Lammermoor" with the orchestra at Los Angeles Music Center on the on March 7, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Joe Klamar—AFP/Getty Images LA Opera music director and conductor James Conlon rehearses "Lucia Di Lammermoor" with the orchestra at Los Angeles Music Center on the on March 7, 2014 in Los Angeles.

Orchestras are struggling, but streaming online could help

Audiences at Toledo, Ohio’s orchestra are thinning out slowly, like spring ice on nearby Lake Erie. The orchestra’s budget has shrunk nearly 4% over as many years, forcing it to rely increasingly on donors and special concerts to make ends meet. The Toledo Symphony Orchestra’s average concert attendance sank from 3,600 in 2004 to about 3,400 in 2012, and the Great Recession took its toll on the group’s budget as well.

“We have been challenged,” Kathy Carroll, the orchestra’s president says, “no doubt about it.”

In an experiment to boost attendance, Toledo Symphony Orchestra is one of the many orchestras around the world investing in streaming concerts over the Internet. For its upcoming 2015-2016 season, the orchestra is planning to livestream at least one of its performances. The idea is to reach out to far-away audiences and students, making its music more accessible than ever. For the fourth-largest in Ohio with a budget of $5.6 million, it’s also a bid to stay with the times.

“It’s not as if we don’t do this, we’ll be doomed, but we also recognize we live in the present,” says Carroll.

Toledo’s orchestra is actually doing relatively well compared to other local classical groups. Americans attended classical music performances 72.8 million times in 2002. By 2012, that number dropped to 53.1 million. The Philadelphia Orchestra filed for bankruptcy in 2011, and even New York’s famed Metropolitan Opera cut salaries in August after reporting a $22 million deficit. Decades-old ensembles face an uncertain future as classical audiences age and concert-goers stay home.

Toledo’s story is like that of many orchestras across the country: classical music’s aging audience and the new ways people spend their free time is hurting musicians from Maine to California. That’s partially because young people want entertainment to be more flexible, and they may not be willing to spend money on an hour or two on the town for classical music, says Jesse Rosen, president of the League of American Orchestras. In other words, they want the concert come to them — and livestreaming is an obvious way to make that happen.

“Younger generations show very different attitudes about how they interact with performing arts,” says Rosen. “They have whole new values for what makes for a satisfying evening out.”

Toledo’s first foray into new video technologies began with three concerts last season in which screens on either side of the stage showed musicians up close, a la a sports arena. The cost of the Toledo Symphony’s video “peristyle” experience—the name evokes a Greco-Roman courtyard, burbling fountains and colonnaded gardens—would have added $4 to each ticket, but it was covered by local donors. Each of the three shows with accompanying video conjured booked seats — as well as grumbles from some more traditional audience members about the visual distractions.

Other orchestras have tried similar experiments in the past. The most well-known of which is the Berlin Philharmonic, which has charged for subscriptions to its streaming portals and smart television apps since 2009. The Vienna State Opera recently established its own live streaming service, and the Bavarian State Opera offers some live streams for free. Medici.TV features concert live streaming from ensembles around the world for a subscription fee.

Here in the United States, the Detroit Symphony began offering streaming in May 2011, bringing the bankrupt city’s ensemble international recognition. Detroit’s performances have accumulated over 500,000 views, and most of its streamed events attract more pairs of eyeballs online than there are seats in the Detroit Orchestra Hall. Says Anne Parsons, CEO of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra: “The future patron is a digital patron and a live experience patron.”

The challenge orchestras face is turning video streams into revenue rivers—something a small, relatively unknown orchestra may have trouble doing. Still, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s online streaming program has fueled contributions, Parsons said. But income is perhaps a secondary goal for classical musicians, an often idealistic crew.

“There’s nothing like a performance of live acoustical music,” says Carroll of Toledo. “It seems to me, in this world, a refuge.”

TIME Apple

Conan Has a Much Cheaper Apple Watch Alternative for You

It's like an Apple Watch—but it fits in your pocket!

The Apple Watch has been maligned for being too expensive, and not particularly useful.

So Conan O’Brien has announced his alternative: the Apple Pocketwatch. It’s got all the functionality of your iPhone, including, well, being a watch in your pocket. And it costs $259.

“It’s more than just a binder clip and wallet chain. It’s $259,” intones the speaker dubbed over the faux commercial.

It’s Conan’s way of poking fun at the hyped-up, $349-to-begin device, which some have argued just moves your phone onto your wrist and doesn’t add much else.

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