Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a Republican, on Tuesday strongly suggested that he would not back efforts to increase protections for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people.

In his televised State of the State speech, Pence told legislators that “no one should ever fear persecution because of their deeply held religious beliefs.”

“I will not support any bill that diminishes the religious freedom of Hoosiers or interferes with the constitutional rights of our citizens to live out their beliefs in worship, service or work,” Pence said.

He added that no one should be mistreated because of “who they love or what they believe.”

A debate on whether to add sexual orientation and gender identity to Indiana's civil rights protections is expected to take place as lawmakers return to work. It follows last year's standoff, where boycott threats successfully pressured lawmakers to rewrite a “religious freedom” bill to specifically state that businesses cannot use it to discriminate against the LGBT community.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane told the AP that Pence was “proud of what happened last year and thinks it's absolutely not necessary to restore our reputation as a state.”