Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is expected to sign controversial "religious freedom" legislation on Thursday that could allow businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples.
Pence, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, told CNN in a statement that the measure "is about respecting and reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact. I strongly support the legislation and applaud the members of the General Assembly for their work on this important issue."
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican, is among the many people, businesses and other concerned parties opposing the bill. Ballard said the measure could threaten his city's economic well-being.
"Indianapolis strives to be a welcoming place that attracts businesses, conventions, visitors and residents," the mayor said in a statement. "We are a diverse city, and I want everyone who visits and lives in Indy to feel comfortable here."