Pence: We Need To Confront The Idea That Religious Freedom Law Is Discrimination


Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) addresses the press on the controversy surrounding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Pence called for a "fix" and explained how supporters of the law need to confront the idea that it is discrimination.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN): Let me say first and foremost, as I've said to each one of them, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was about religious liberty, not about discrimination. As I said last week, had this law been about legalizing discrimination, I would have vetoed it. This law does not give anyone a license to discriminate. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana does not give anyone the right to deny services to anyone in this state. It is simply a balancing test used by our federal courts and jurisdictions across the country for more than two decades.

Now let me say on the subject of the bill itself. I don't believe for a minute that it was the intention of the General Assembly to create a license to discriminate or right to deny services to gays, lesbians or anyone else in this state. And it certainly wasn't my intent. But I can appreciate that that's become the perception. Not just here in Indiana, but all across this country and we need to confront that, and confront it boldly in a way that respects the interests of all involved.

Personal reflection for a moment if I can. I abhor discrimination. The way I was raised was like most Hoosiers, with the golden rule; that you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And I believe in my heart of hearts that no one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love or what they believe. And I believe every Hoosier shares that conviction.

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