Mar 31, 2015 3:48 PM

Gov. Hassan would consider Indiana travel ban

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he wants legislation on his desk by the end of the week, clarifying that a new religious-freedom law does not allow discrimination.

Pence said Tuesday he has been meeting with lawmakers "around the clock" to address concerns that the law will allow businesses to deny services to gays and lesbians.

The White House doesn't agree with a recent statement by Indiana's governor that his state's new religious-freedom law is just like a federal law from more than 20 years ago.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the Indiana law marks a "significant expansion" over the federal law -- because it applies to private transactions, and not just those involving the government.

Critics have said the Indiana law is designed to protect businesses and individuals who don't want to serve gays and lesbians - such as florists or caterers who might be hired for a same-sex wedding.

The law signed by Pence last week prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

Pence says the law has been "grossly mischaracterized" and has put Indiana under a harsh glare. Businesses and organizations including Apple and the NCAA have voiced concern over the effect of the law, and some states have barred government-funded travel to Indiana.

Governor Maggie Hassan told NH1 News she would consider a travel ban to Indiana in light of the law, but noted that there is already a current travel ban in place because of budget cuts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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