Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. – who just said he will make an announcement about his White House aspirations April 13 – confirmed he stands by Indiana and Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s new religious freedom law.

“No one here is saying it should be legal to deny someone service at a restaurant or at a hotel because of their sexual orientation,” he said in an interview on “The Five” on Fox News. “I think that’s a consensus view in America.”

Rubio then argued the law simply reinforces the First Amendment and said it was a necessary provision to keep government entities from forcing business owners to act against their religious beliefs.

Longtime conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly is calling the Obama administration’s policies the greatest government-directed assault on religious freedom in American history. Read it in “No Higher Power: Obama’s War no Religious Freedom.”

“The flip side of it is: should a photographer be punished for refusing to do a wedding that their faith teaches them is not one that is valid in the eyes of God,” Rubio said, The Hill reported.

Rubio also said he views marriage equality for homosexuals as separate and distinct from the civil rights battles of yesteryear. The latter, he said, pertained to the “innate value of a human being” while the former to the “definition of an institution,” The Hill reported.

Pence signed the law into effect last week, barring the government from taking actions against businesses and individuals that would “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” without a compelling interest, the news site said.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, signed an executive order barring state-funded trips to Indiana. Mayors in two California cities have done similarly. And leaders of several companies have either pulled business or threatened to pull business from the state in protest.

 

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