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Indiana Gov.: Religious Freedom law will remain despite anti-LGBT perception

The governor said he would support legislation to "clarify" the law.

By
Andrew V. Pestano

INDIANAPOLIS, March 30 (UPI) -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act will not change, despite criticism stating it would allow discrimination toward the LGBT community.

The Republican governor decried "shameless rhetoric" over the state's new law and attributed the public backlash against it to a "tremendous amount of misinformation and misunderstanding."

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"We're not going to change the law, but if the general assembly in Indiana sends me a bill that adds a section that reiterates and amplifies and clarifies what the law really is and what it has been for the last 20 years, than I'm open to that," Pence said on the ABC News program This Week. "The question here is if there is a government action or a law that an individual believes impinges on their religious liberty, they have the opportunity to go to court... and the court would evaluate the circumstance under the standards articulated in this act."

The host of the show, George Stephanopoulos, repeatedly asked the governor yes-or-no questions regarding criticism stating the law would allow the LGBT community to be discriminated against. Pence continuously deflected the questions.

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"Yes or no, should it be legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"George... you're following the mantra of the last week online, and you're trying to make this issue about something else," Pence replied.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest commented over the controversial law and the discussion on This Week.

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"If you have to go back two decades to try to justify something that you're doing today, it may raise some questions about the wisdom of what you're doing," Earnest said. "It should be easy for leaders in this country to stand up and say that it is wrong to discriminate against people just because of who they love."

The governor said he would support legislation that would "clarify" the controversial law, expecting it to be introduced into the General Assembly this week.

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