Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Tuesday addressed his state’s controversial new “religious freedom” law. You can rewatch the full news conference in the embedded player above
Indiana Governor Mike Pence held a news conference earlier today where he addressed the controversy surrounding the state’s newly-signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. stating he stood by the law.
Addressing the media, Pence stated the he was “pleased” to have signed the law and continued to stand by it. “Religious liberty is vitally important in the life of our nation.”
Pence rejected that the law gives businesses a “license to discriminate,” adding that the legislation was “grossly mischaracterized” due to “sloppy reporting.”
“I don’t support discrimination against gays or lesbians or anyone else,” Pence said. “I abhor discrimination. I want to say this: no one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, what they love, or what they believe.”
In order to address concerns, Pence said he would look to Indiana’s General Assembly to send him amendments that would clarify the law’s scope.
The legislation, which Pence signed into law on Thursday, has come under a steady stream of criticism from civil rights groups and businesses that claim the new rules would allow discrimination against LGBT individuals.
In wake of the controversy, Pence has repeatedly defended the law, saying its intent was to give the courts the “highest level of scrutiny” for Indiana residents who feel their religious liberties were infringed upon by the government.