- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signaled Tuesday that he doesn’t support calls for additional state laws that would add protections against discrimination based on someone’s sexual orientation, but he said the state legislature is free to have that debate.

Mr. Pence has faced fierce criticism from groups who fear the “religious liberty” law that he signed last week could lead to discrimination, namely against gays and lesbians.

The pressure continued to build Tuesday after the Indy Star newspaper ran a front page editorial urging Mr. Pence and the GOP-controlled legislature to ease the growing concerns by enacting a state law to “prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, education and public accommodations on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Mr. Pence countered Tuesday that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been grossly misconstrued, and said the law allows courts in Indiana to review cases where religious liberty is infringed upon.

“But there is no license to discriminate, and there was never any intention in this law to give businesses permission to deny services to individuals on the basis of, of, who they care about,” he said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.”

Asked on “Fox & Friends” whether he go a step further in supporting a law that would make it illegal to discriminate based on someone’s sexual orientation, Mr. Pence said, “that has not been my position” and said “it has not been the position of the state of Indiana.”

“But if the legislature brought that up, they can certainly have that debate,” he said.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican who is thought to be considering a U.S. Senate bid, also called on Mr. Pence to revisit the “religious liberty” law.

“They better move somewhere very fast because this is engulfing the city and the state and has great potential to hurt the economy for a long time to come,” Mr. Ballard said on CNN’s “New Day.”

The Indy Star reported that Mr. Ballard and the County-City Council in Indianapolis called on state lawmakers Monday to scrap the law or tweak it to add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

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