The White House on Friday panned a bill signed into law by Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers on religious grounds.
Obama spokesman Josh Earnest pointed to a number of businesses that have threatened to boycott Indiana in the wake of the bill signing.
“I think that is a testament to the kind of reaction a lot of people across the country have, which is this certainly doesn’t seem like it’s a step in the direction of equality and justice and liberty for all Americans,” Earnest said.
Pence, a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, insisted that the bill does not discriminate but allows businesses to exercise their religious beliefs.
“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” he said after signing the bill.