In his press conference on Tuesday Indiana governor Mike Pence attempted to clarify his view on whether the state's new religious-freedom law allows for discrimination against gays and lesbians.
According to the Associated Press, the governor said he does not believe "for a minute" that lawmakers intended "to create a license to discriminate."
"It certainly wasn't my intent," said Pence.
But, he said, he "can appreciate that that's become the perception, not just here in Indiana but all across the country. We need to confront that."
What may have led many to assume that the law does allow discrimination came with photos of the signing ceremony that Pence authorized.
According to the news outlet IndyStar, "The event was closed to the public and the press. His staff even told a reporter to leave the governor's office lobby/waiting area during the ceremony. And when asked for a list of attendees, they declined, promising a photograph would be posted on Pence's Twitter account."
"His office then declined to identify those in the photo."
One photo in particular has caught the eye of activists.
"Another photograph, posted on Twitter by the American Family Association of Indiana's Micah Clark, shows Pence at his desk surrounded by a different group. They include the state's three most prominent lobbyists on conservative social issues: Clark, the Indiana Family Institute's Curt Smith, and Advance America's Eric Miller."
"Those three, with their connections to a vast network of conservative churches, led a failed effort last year to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana's constitution. The governor has tried to distance the religious freedom legislation from that issue."
"The photo features Pence surrounded by numerous religious figures. But standing close to him are three well-known anti-gay lobbyists."
GLAAD published the following on these lobbyists:
From our media partner EDGE