INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is defending the new state law that's garnered widespread criticism over concerns it could foster discrimination and said it wasn't a mistake for the state to have enacted it.

Pence appeared on ABC's "This Week" to discuss the measure he signed last week prohibiting state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs.

The Republican did not answer directly when asked six times whether it would be legal for a business to refuse to serve gay customers.

Pence said the law is "about empowering people to confront government overreach."

He also said that if lawmakers send him a bill to clarify the law's intent, he'll look at it, but was adamant that "We're not going to change the law."

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama's spokesman says the governor is in "damage control mode." Also appearing on ABC's "This Week," Josh Earnest said: "If you have to go back two decades to try to justify what you're doing today, it may raise questions," referring to the 1993 federal law Pence brought up.

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