The controversial law passed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence was met with praise by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush earlier this week. But Bush then seemed to change the approach of his praise at a fundraiser in Silicon Valley.
During an interview on Hugh Hewitt’s show, Jeb Bush criticized those who blasted Governor Pence and the new law, saying he doesn’t see how it is so controversial.
“I think Governor Pence has done the right thing. This is simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs, to have, to be able to be people of conscience. I just think once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all.”
Jeb Bush then recalled some incidents in which business owners refused service to gay couples, such as the photographer in New Mexico and the florist in the State of Washington.
“There are many cases where people acting on their conscience have been castigated by the government. And this law simply says the government has to have a level of burden to be able to establish that there’s been some kind of discrimination. We’re going to need this [law].”
But Bush didn’t seem to be as critical of the opponents at a fundraiser in California on Wednesday. A transcript obtained by the Tampa Bay Times showed that Jeb Bush stated Pence could have handled things in a less controversial way.
“The better approach would have been the approach that is the more consensus-oriented approach I think. I’m not being critical of Mike Pence because I did say that I supported his efforts, which was the Utah case.”
The case to which Bush is referring involved leaders of the Mormon Church and the LGBT community coming to an agreement on the details of a religious freedom bill that doesn’t discriminate any person.
“They figured it out and they passed a law. There wasn’t a bunch of yelling and screaming. That, to me, seems like a better approach to dealing with this.”
Jeb Bush noted that Indiana will re-work the law and will be “in the right place” soon, adding that discrimination “based on sexual orientation” should never be allowed.
Bush’s shift in the way he felt about the law confused some people. Bill Draper, a supporter who attended the meeting, told the New York Times he’s unclear on where Jeb Bush stands with this issue.
“I don’t know what Jeb feels. In Silicon Valley, we are very liberal on the issues of gays and women’s rights, and we’re all sensitive to the apparent wording of the law. Now, as Jeb said, the Indiana governor is trying to get it fixed.”
[Top photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]