Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) was pressed by conservative radio host if something happened in Indiana to justify signing an anti-gay religious freedom bill into law. Pence said he wasn’t aware of any recent examples.
“I’m not aware of cases and controversies. I mean as I travel around the state one thing I know for sure —Hoosier hospitality is the greatest in the nation. Hoosiers are loving, caring, generous to a fault,” Pence said in an interview with conservative radio host Greg Garrison on Thursday. “People that have strong hearts, strong values. But this isn’t about any present controversy as much as some in the media want to make it about. It’s about making sure that Hoosiers have the same protections in our state courts as they have in federal courts and as 30 other states have.”
Pence, in that same interview, said the law was modeled after legislation passed by Congress in 1993 and that the idea was simply to make sure Indianans had the same protections as elsewhere in the country.
Earlier in the day Pence signed into law legislation barring the state from requiring businesses to serve gay and lesbian people if those businesses had religious objections.
“This is about restraining government action, Greg,” Pence said.
A number of companies warned Pence that if he signed the law there could be blowback through businesses going elsewhere. Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, said his company would cancel all its programs in Indiana in response to Pence. NBA star Jason Collins, Star Trek Actor George Takei, and the Eli Lilly Company, have all criticized the law.
Listen to the audio below, via opposition research group American Bridge: