Family Research Council President Tony Perkins offered support for "clarification" of Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence held a news conference
Tuesday morning to address the controversy that he admitted took him by surprise.
Critics of the law say it allows discrimination by businesses against gay people. Defenders of the law say it does no such thing — it simply allows people with religious convictions to avoid being forced to act against those beliefs.
"The governor addressed the complete falsehood that RFRA is about denying people a seat in a restaurant or a room at a hotel," Perkins said Tuesday in a prepared statement posted on the group's website.
"Christians would never deny people these services, but being forced to participate in a ceremony that violates religious beliefs is completely un-American and uncivil," Perkins said. "We must ensure that religious business owners are not forced by the government to participate in a same-sex ceremony."
RFRA is intended to protect people from government discrimination, he said, but added, "until we see the wording of his proposal, the impact on religious businesses and churches is unknown."
RFRAs are not intended to deny anyone nonreligous services and never have been used to do so, Perkins said.
"We support such a clarification making clear RFRA does not impact nonreligious goods or services," the statement said.
The government shouldn’t force religious businesses and churches to participate in wedding ceremonies contrary to their owners’ beliefs, Perkins said, warning, "If the government punishes people for living their faith, there are no limits to what government can control."
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