Gov. Mike Pence unsure whether religious liberty, LGBT protections can coexist

Fri. November 6, 2015 12:27 PM by Carlos Santoscoy

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is unsure whether the concerns of religious conservatives can be reconciled with those of the gay rights community who are calling for statewide LGBT protections.

On Thursday, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce called on Pence, a Republican, and the GOP-controlled Legislature to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's civil rights protections.

"We believe this expansion is a necessary action for the General Assembly to take," said Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the group. "After the negative perception of our state generated by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the spring, we need to get this right."

Critics of the law pressured Pence and the Legislature to rewrite the bill to specifically state that businesses cannot use it to discriminate against gay couples.

A debate on the issue is expected to take place when lawmakers return to work in January.

"Hoosiers don't tolerate discrimination against anybody," Pence told WRTV-TV. "And Hoosiers also cherish our faith and our religion and the freedom that's associated with those things. And as we go forward, I think it's important that we're thoughtful as we consider whether or not you can even reconcile those two things into law."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine