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The Republican governor of Louisiana said Sunday morning that he feels Christian businesses in Indiana were facing discrimination in the debate over the state’s "religious freedom" law.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said he believes that businesses have the right to refuse to provide services for same-sex weddings based on the owner’s religious beliefs.
"We're not talking about day-to-day routine commercial transactions," Jindal said. "We're talking about a very specific example here of business owners, of florists, of musicians, of caterers who are being forced to either pay thousands of dollars or close their businesses if they don't want to participate in a wedding ceremony that contradicts their religious beliefs."
"So in that instance, yeah, I think part of the First Amendment means that we allow individuals to obey their conscience, to obey their religious beliefs," he said.
Jindal also addressed a Louisiana bill that may allow private employers to deny benefits to an employee in a legally-recognized same-sex marriage, saying he needed to see the legislation first.
He added that he would defend religious liberty while not condoning discrimination. "I don't think those two values are mutually exclusive. And I think that's what this debate has been really about. I think we can have religious liberty without having discrimination. I think it's possible to have both," the governor said.
When asked by Chuck Todd about his 2016 ambitions, Jindal said he would wait until after the legislative session to make a decision. The Louisiana Legislature is scheduled to come into session on April 13th and end by June 11th. The potential presidential candidate also took a jab at the unofficial front-runners so far.
"Unlike many that are thinking about running, it's not for me just about fundraisers or consultants or pollsters," said Jindal. "I've actually started thinking, and I've been thinking for the last several months about what the next president needs to be doing ... I think voters are looking for potential candidates to answer the question not just how do you get there, what would you do if you actually got there."