The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) last week, allows businesses and individuals to cite their religious beliefs as a defense in a lawsuit. Cuomo told the lieutenant governor Tuesday that this basically allows businesses to be "not just people, but people with a religious conscience."
"You're allowing them to say that they won't do business with people if it is offensive to their religion," Cuomo said. "And the LGBT community seems to have a target on its back."
Ellspermann defended the governor and the state, arguing that the law was never intended to discriminate -- but Cuomo wasn't convinced.
"I'm wondering if we are being open and honest about what motivated this law," he said, pointing out how Indiana's law is actually quite different from that of other states. "You're now empowering the majority -- businesses, big groups, largely Christians -- and that is going to be a very different impact."
On Monday morning, Cuomo pleaded with Gov. Pence to come on his show to answer critical questions about the law that he has otherwise avoided.