INDIANAPOLIS, March 31 (UPI) -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has declared the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not allow businesses to discriminate against anyone.
The law, perceived to be anti-LGBT, was signed into law recently by the Republican governor.
"We need to make it clear that this law does not give the right for business to discriminate against anyone," Pence said in a press conference. "This is a perception problem."
He added that he supports any legislation that would clarify the law, reinforcing the notion that the law will not be used to discriminate.
Pence accused a "smear" campaign against the law and against the state of Indiana and its people, known as Hoosiers, by the media.
"The purpose for Religious Freedom Restoration Act is to give the people of this country the opportunity to go into our courts, state now and federal for more than 20 years, where they believe government action has imposed or impinged their religious liberties," Pence said.
"This is about restraining government overreach," he added.
"I don't support discrimination against gays or lesbians or anyone else," Pence said. "I abhor discrimination."
"No one should be harassed or mistreated for who they are, who they love or what they believe," he said. "I believe that with all my heart."
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard recently signed an executive order protecting the city's LGBT community from discrimination and denounced the state's controversial new religious freedom law.
Ballard, a Republican, denounced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law.
"Indianapolis will not be defined by this," Ballard said. "Indianapolis will not be defined by this. Indianapolis welcomes everybody."
Other critics of the law include Apple's Tim Cook and company Angie's List.
Pence previously 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."
Kate Stanton contributed to this report.