Bernie Sanders: Mike Pence 'probably won’t get the gay vote'
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Potential Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE (I-Vt.) said he doesn't believe Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence when he says that his state's controversial religious freedom bill was never about sanctioning discrimination of LGBT people.

“I don’t believe that, of course it was, that was part of what their base is about,” Sanders said during an interview with the Public Broadcasting Service station in Austin, Texas.

He also chided Pence, potentially a dark-horse presidential hopeful, as having damaged his reputation with the gay community.

“He probably won’t get the gay vote,” Sanders quipped when asked about Pence’s presidential prospects.

Under immense public pressure this week, Pence walked back his support for his state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act and called for a fix that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination based in religious justification. Indiana Republican lawmakers announced an agreement on that change Thursday morning. 

Sanders said the nation has trended toward more inclusiveness and that while more than a dozen of other states have similar laws, the Indiana bill sparked such wide criticism because businesses denying services based on religious beliefs has become more common.

“For many years now, we have made pretty good progress, and we should be pretty proud of ourselves, in making this nation a less discriminatory nation,” he said, noting progress made for blacks, women and those with disabilities.

“In the gay movement, people have stood up.” 

Updated at 11:44 a.m.