New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) came to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s (R) defense Wednesday night in his first public comments on the Hoosier State’s controversial new “religious freedom” law.
“My guess is that he’ll fix the problem and move on,” Christie said in a statement, as quoted by the Newark Star-Ledger.
Christie and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had been the only people considered to be potential 2016 Republican presidential contenders that did not speak out in support of the bill, which critics say allows business owners to deny service to same-sex couples if they religiously object to doing so.
“We should not have a situation where people perceive that anybody will be denied service,” Christie said in the statement, as quoted by the Star-Ledger. “But, I can tell you this, I know Mike Pence, and he’s got nothing but love in his heart for people and I just do not believe that in any way Mike Pence would intend for anything to happen in his state on his watch to be discriminatory towards any person.”
“I just don’t believe any of this stuff is true and to the extent that something needs to be fixed to clarify that no one will be denied service for discriminatory reasons, I’m sure that’s exactly what Mike will do,” the statement continued.
Pence on Tuesday called for legislation to clarify that the law, known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, does not allow businesses to discriminate against anyone. Indiana legislators announced Thursday morning that they had reached an agreement to address concerns that the law may allow for discrimination against gays and lesbians.