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
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.”