Indiana governor wants to ‘clarify’ religious freedom law, but rules out protecting gays

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The Governor of Indiana Mike Pence has called for legislation to “clarify” a religious freedom law which gives people the right to refuse to serve gay people.

The Republican this week signed into law the controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, which gives people the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion.

Despite his insistence that it is not anti-gay and does not allow people to discriminate, some local business owners are already using the law to refuse to serve gay couples.

Speaking after condemnation from business leaders and rights groups, Pence has now pledged to pass legislation to help “clarify” the law’s intent.

He told the Indy Star: “I support religious liberty, and I support this law.

“But we are in discussions with legislative leaders this weekend to see if there’s a way to clarify the intent of the law.”

However, when asked whether his new legislation would legally protect LGBT people, he said: “That’s not on my agenda.”

He also continued to insist the law does not sanction discrimination – despite businesses using it for exactly that already.

He said: “I just can’t account for the hostility that’s been directed at our state.

“I’ve been taken aback by the mischaracterisations from outside the state of Indiana about what is in this bill.”

“Despite the irresponsible headlines that have appeared in the national media, this law is not about discrimination,” he said. “If it was, I would have vetoed it.

“I’m not going to take it (the criticism) lying down.”