President Barack Obama finds Indiana's religious freedom law and others like it "unthinkable," the White House said Wednesday.
“I do think in the mind of the president, the thought that we would have state legislatures in the 21st century in the United States of America passing laws that would use religion to try to justify discriminating against people for who they love is unthinkable,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Critics say Indiana's law now allows for businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Amid the furor, Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, called Tuesday for a clarifying amendment to the law.
On Wednesday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, also a Republican, told his state’s legislature to go back to work on the bill that could allow businesses not to provide services for same-sex weddings that they oppose on religious grounds.
In response to a reporter’s question, Earnest said he has not specifically asked Obama if it’s possible to allow a private businesses not perform certain services for gay couples without it being discrimination.
“That’s why I think you’ve seen an outcry not just from Democrats, this has not been a partisan or political dispute,” Earnest said. “It’s business interests. It’s other Republicans. It’s other leaders in the faith community who stepped forward – particularly in the case of Indiana – who said this law is a terrible idea.”