Governor Mike Pence signed The Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law yesterday which lets individuals or corporations cite religious beliefs as a defense when being sued by a private party.
"Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith," Pence said in a statement Thursday. "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."
"This was a measure that frankly, Indiana should have enacted many years ago," Pence said. "It gives our courts guidance about evaluating government action and puts the highest standard -- it essentially says, if a government is going to compel you to act in a way that violates your religious beliefs, there has to be a compelling state interest."
The law is seen by many as a way for businesses to legally discriminate against the LGBT community; whereas, supporters of the bill see it as protecting them from being forced to act in a way that violates their religious beliefs. It's received harsh criticism from Salesforce, the NCAA, and other organizations.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had this to say:
"Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana's new law and calling on Arkansas Gov. to veto the similar #HB1228."
"Around the world, we strive to treat every customer the same — regardless of where they come from, how they worship or who they love."
Cook announced he was gay late last year and Apple was among 379 companies that filed a friend-of-the-court brief pressing the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn bans on same-sex marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.