Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday much of the outrage over Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act comes from "people who are chronically looking for ways to be upset about things."
Walker was participating in "Insight 2015," a program put on by Wisconsin conservative radio host Charlie Sykes.
"We don't need to, in Wisconsin, we have it in the constitution. That's the remarkable thing for all of the hype, particularly in media here in Wisconsin. We have it in the constitution," Walker said when asked if he would have signed the bill passed in Indiana.
The law, which prohibits the government from infringing on individual religious freedom unless certain standards are met, has triggered a wave of national attention for the state from critics who argue it could allow LGBT discrimination.
"It's even more entrenched than anything that can be in the state statues and we don't have the kind of hype and hysteria that the national media is creating on this," Walker said. "Remember, it's not because what we have here, President Clinton signed something very similar to this nationally back in '93. President Obama voted for something like this in the neighboring state of Illinois when he was a state senator."
Walker said the outrage for the law was coming from people who hadn't really looked at what the law really is and were just looking for a reason to be upset.
"I just think this is people who are chronically looking for ways to be upset about things instead of really looking what it is. I believe in protecting religious freedoms. It's inherent in our state's constitution. Heck, it's inherent in our U.S. Constitution, and again, Wisconsin, we've done it, and we're stronger for it."
Asked about what would happen to a baker who did wanting to provide services to a same-sex wedding in the state, Walker didn't address the scenario, but said Wisconsin's law strikes "a healthy balance."
"Again, if you look at the constitution there is both a combination of religious freedoms protecting the constitution and back in the '80s, long, long ago when I was still a kid, there were also provisions there that would protect against discrimination including a gay or lesbian individual out there," he said. "So there is a healthy balance of someone can't be discriminated, say, in the workplace and that — but for someone who has a conscientious objection, based on their religious beliefs no matter what it might be, the constitution is pretty clear in the state."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.