By Fiona Ortiz
March 31 (Reuters) – Indiana Governor Mike Pence will hold a news conference on Tuesday to discuss the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was condemned by business leaders and Democrats who say it could lead to discrimination against gays.
The news conference will be at 11 a.m. EDT, the governor’s office said in a brief advisory.
Pence has defended the act, which he signed into law last week, as protecting people of all faiths from being forced to go against their beliefs. Many other states have similar laws.
Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz and possible presidential contender Jeb Bush both praised the law, saying it protected religious liberty.
But executives and companies from Apple Inc to Wal-Mart Stores Inc criticized the law and Democratic governors of Connecticut and Washington state said they would ban official travel to Indiana in protest.
Critics say Indiana’s law goes too far in potentially allowing businesses to deny services to gay couples, because they could argue that doing so went against their deeply held beliefs. Same-sex marriage became legal in Indiana under an appeals court ruling last year.
Indiana’s Republican legislators, who overwhelmingly approved the law, said on Monday they could add language to the law to make sure it could be not be used as a defense by companies that discriminate against, for example, gay couples.
Pence, speaking on Fox News earlier on Tuesday, said the law is not intended to allow discrimination.
“We’ll clarify that in the days ahead, and we’ll fix this and move forward,” Pence told the network’s “Fox & Friends” program in an interview. (Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago, Susan Heavey in Washington, D.C., and Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
Source: Huff Post