The organization behind last year’s successful fight against Indiana’s proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage is back at the Statehouse this year. The group’s target is a bill that allows people to use religious reasons to challenge state and local laws.
Some of the group that made up last year’s Freedom Indiana coalition, including manufacturer Cummins, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the ACLU, have already spoken out against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.
But Freedom Indiana spokesperson Jennifer Wagner says her group is mobilizing now because RFRA’s opposition has lacked a grassroots-level presence.
“Boots on the ground – 50,000 Hoosiers who obviously all turned out last year to help us defeat the marriage amendment and all of whom we hope have an interest in making sure RFRA doesn’t pass this session,” Wagner said.
Auburn Republican Senator Dennis Kruse is the author of the RFRA bill, which he says aims to ensure religious liberty. Opponents, like Freedom Indiana, say it legalizes discrimination, allowing businesses to refuse service to, for instance, same sex couples.
But Kruse says he and others in the Senate have worked carefully on the bill’s language.
“There are a lot of people that don’t like parts of this and they may try to block it, but I think we’re on the right road for success and to have it pass the House and Senate,” Kruse said.
The bill will be up for passage Tuesday in the Senate. If approved, it will head to the House.