Indiana House Speaker 'Disappointed' in Pence

Monday, March 30, 2015

One of the top Republicans in Indiana says he was "disappointed" with how Gov. Mike Pence addressed questions about Indiana's new "religious freedom" law in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday.

"We were disappointed," Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, told ABC's Gio Benitez. "He failed to answer that question on national TV [Sunday]."

In an interview with ABC News, Pence repeatedly dodged questions on whether or not the new law could allow businesses to deny services to gays and lesbians, citing religious reasons for doing so.

Senate Bill 101, which Pence signed into law last week, is a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on the books in other states and at the federal level.

Both socially conservative supporters and pro-gay-rights opponents of the law say it paves the way for wedding-related businesses to refuse to provide cakes or flowers to gay weddings, for instance. The law simply states that the government must prove a higher threshold of governmental interest in order to enforce widely applied laws if they infringe on the free exercise of religion.

Bosma and Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long hastily arranged a news conference this morning to say that, in their view, the law would not allow businesses to deny services to gays and lesbians--and that they want to amend it to clarify that point.

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