Exactly one week after signing Indiana’s religious freedom bill into law, Governor Mike Pence Thursday signed a follow up bill meant to quell the firestorm of controversy that erupted over the measure.
The follow up bill explicitly states that the recently-passed law known as RFRA can’t be used to deny service to anyone on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Conservative groups, including Indiana Right to Life and Advance America, considered RFRA’s staunchest supporters, decried the new language. They say the clarification bill undoes the religious freedom defenses RFRA provided and urged the governor to veto it.
But in a statement, Pence says RFRA still enhances protections for churches, clergy, and religious organizations.
And while some say the follow up bill doesn’t go far enough, the governor says signing it resolves the controversy and makes clear that everyone is welcome in Indiana, which he says is the best thing for the state.