Appearing Sunday on ABC's This Week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence was asked repeatedly whether discrimination against gays should be legal.

Pence, a Republican, has been under fire since he signed a bill Thursday that critics say will allow businesses to discriminate against members of the LGBT community based on religious beliefs. Unlike other states where similar bills have been enacted, Indiana civil rights laws do not include sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes.

(Related: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs bill allowing businesses to refuse to serve gays.)

Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Aston Kutcher have criticized the measure on social media, while companies such as Angie's List and Salesforce have threatened to pull out of the state.

Pence told This Week's George Stephanopoulos that he was happy to “clarify” the bill's purpose.

“I'm just determined to clarify this. This is about protecting the religious liberty of people of faith and families of faith across this country,” Pence said.

But when Stephanopoulos repeatedly asked Pence where he stood in regards to claims that the bill would allow businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation, Pence refused to give a straight answer.

“Eric Miller of Advance America wrote that it will protect those who oppose gay marriage,” Stephanopoulos said. “He put up this example. He said, 'Christian bakers, florists and photographers should not be punished for refusing to participate in a homosexual marriage.' So this is a yes or no question: Is Advance America right when they say a florist in Indiana can now refuse to serve a gay couple without fear of punishment?”

After Pence dodged the question, Stephanopoulos asked him if he would lobby for a bill that adds sexual orientation as a protected class in the state's civil rights laws.

“I will not push for that,” Pence answered. “That's not on my agenda. That's not been an objective of the people of the state of Indiana. And it doesn't have anything to do with this law.”

“From people who preach tolerance every day we've been under an avalanche of intolerance and I'm not going to take it lying down,” Pence added.

“Yes or no, should it be legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“George, you're following the mantra of the last week online. And you're trying to make this issue about something else. What I am for is protecting with the highest standards in our courts the religious liberty of Hoosiers. I signed the bill. We're going to continue to explain it to people that don't understand it,” Pence answered.