Candidates for Indiana Governor talk civil rights

Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, speaks to the House of Representatives during Organization Day at the Statehouse Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Indianapolis, (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- Governor Mike Pence and John Gregg made visits to Fort Wayne today. While they were in town each candidate discussed the impact that a new senate bill could have on the upcoming Governor’s race.

In 2012, it was a close race with Governor Pence beating democratic challenger John Gregg by just 2 percent of the vote. Pence and Gregg will likely face off again in what’s expected to be another close race. One of the biggest issues on the table is civil rights.

The Indiana State Senate passed Senate Bill 344, which gives civil rights protections to gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual people, but it leaves off transgender.

This new measure comes off the heels a religious objections law that was passed last year. Critics of the Religious Freedoms Restoration Act (RFRA) said it would allow discrimination against gay people.

When asked about the recent bill making its way through the Senate, Governor Pence said he’s focusing on policies that keep the economy moving like infrastructure and healthcare. He did offer some advice for legislators hoping to push this bill forward.

“We’ll give careful consideration to any matter that legislature sends to my desk,” said Pence. “Like I said in my “State of the State” address, legislation must be consistent with the Constitution. I’ll leave members to their work on that and other issues and we’ll stay focused on our agenda which is to keep this economy moving.”

John Gregg said civil rights should be Pence’s top priority. Especially as it pertains to RFRA.

“It’s a problem created by the governor and he needs to solve it,” said Gregg. “Hes not weighted in to solve the problem although he created it which has cost us a lot of money in Indiana.”

Gregg questions the governor’s record and leadership skills. While Pence maintains his administration continues to be encouraged by the progress made across the state.

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