Republican legislative leaders say a formal study on creating civil rights protections for the LGBT community won’t happen this year. But they say they’ll be thinking about the issue regardless.
Republican leaders admitted earlier this year that controversy surrounding the religious freedom bill fast-forwarded the debate around adding LGBT protections to the state’s civil rights statute. But the topic didn’t make it onto the list of issues lawmakers will officially study this summer.
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.
Some of the staunchest supporters of Indiana’s religious freedom bill say the “clarification language” crafted by Republican legislative leaders will destroy religious protections the controversial law created. The legislative fix comes after concerns the measure would be used to discriminate against the LGBT community.
After clearing both chambers of the General Assembly, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- or RFRA -- is on its way to Governor Mike Pence for his signature. Pence has said he intends to sign the law, but some businesses and organizations are asking him to reconsider.
After RFRA passed the House, Pence released a statement saying he supported the measure and looked forward to signing it when it reaches his desk.
The Indiana House Monday approved a bill that supporters call a shield protecting people of faith. But opponents believe the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, commonly known as RFRA, a license to discriminate.
RFRA creates a judicial test for Indiana courts that ensures a government can only restrict religious practices if it has a compelling reason and does so in the least restrictive way.
Supporters, such as Inglefield Republican Representative Tom Washburne, say the bill helps ensure Hoosiers live in harmony with each other.
The controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that’s being debated in the Indiana legislature is sparking another debate: whether state law should protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.
RFRA’s supporters say the proposed law only ensures the government can’t restrict a person’s religious practices unless it has a compelling interest to do so. They believe the state’s civil rights statute qualifies as a compelling interest.
A bipartisan coalition of community, faith and business leaders opposing Indiana’s proposed amendment banning same sex marriage is promising a well-funded campaign against lawmakers who support the measure.
The General Assembly approved a constitutional amendment in 2011 banning same-sex marriage. The legislature must pass it again next year. Then it would go to the voters in the 2014 November general election.
The newly-formed Freedom Indiana is vowing to fight its passage.