Mike Pence won’t support LGBTQ rights if they diminish religious freedoms

Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)

Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he won’t support adding state civil rights protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity if he believes that step would diminish religious freedoms.

Pence said in prepared remarks for Tuesday evening’s State of the State speech that constitutional rights to religious freedom in worship, service or work are “too precious.”

Bills are pending in the Legislature to extend LGBT protections, and Pence has previously avoided taking a position on the issue. He didn’t say in the prepared remarks whether he believed those bills would infringe on religious freedoms.

LGBT rights have become a major debate following the national uproar last spring over the state’s religious objections law that critics argued sanctioned discrimination against gay people.

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