INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Jan. 12 during his annual State of the State address again defended religious freedom within the context of efforts to ban anti-LGBT discrimination.
“I will not support any bill that diminishes the religious freedom of Hoosiers or that interferes with the constitutional rights of our citizens to live out their beliefs in worship, service or work,” said the Republican, according to the Indianapolis Star.
The newspaper reported that Pence said Indiana is already “an open and welcoming state that respects everyone.” The Republican added, “no one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love or what they believe.”
“No one should ever fear persecution because of their deeply held religious beliefs,” said Pence, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Chris Paulsen, campaign manager for Freedom Indiana, a group that supports efforts to ban anti-LGBT discrimination in the state, criticized Pence’s speech.
“This is a complete letdown,” said Paulsen.