Former Florida governor and potential
GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Monday that he supports
Indiana's religious freedom bill, saying that Indiana Governor Mike
Pence had 'done the right thing' in signing it.
Appearing Sunday on ABC's This Week,
Pence said he signed the bill to protect “with the highest
standards in our courts the religious liberty of Hoosiers.”
Critics argue that the bill is a
response to a federal ruling striking down Indiana's ban on gay
marriage. They point to the bill's broad language, the state's lack
of LGBT protections and even the anti-gay rhetoric used by some of
its backers to argue that the bill's intent is to legalize
discrimination against members of the LGBT community.
Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt Show
radio program, Bush was asked to weigh in on the controversy.
“I think if they actually got briefed
on the law that they wouldn't be blasting this law,” Bush
said. “I think Governor Pence has done the right
“This is simply allowing people of
faith space to be able to express their beliefs, to be able to be
people of conscience. I think once the facts are established, people
aren't going to see this as discriminatory at all.”
Bush, however, went on to point to two
cases where businesses owners cited their faith in the course of
refusing service to gay and lesbian couples.
“There are incidents of people who,
for example the florist in Washington state who had a business that
based on her conscience she couldn't be participating in a gay
wedding, organizing it, even though one of the people was a friend of
hers, and she was taken to court. … Or the photographer in New
Mexico. There are many cases where people acting on their conscience
have been castigated by the government,” Bush said.
fines florist who refuse to serve gay couple.)