Republican legislative leaders say they want to help turn the tide against the backlash that’s erupted over Indiana’s so-called religious freedom bill. They say that will involve making it clear the law does not allow discrimination.
Governor Mike Pence says concerns about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act come from a misunderstanding of the law, for which he at least partly blames the media. Pence signed the controversial bill into law Thursday.
RFRA establishes a judicial test that courts will use to decide when the government can infringe on a person’s religious beliefs and practices.
Many groups say they’re concerned it will be used to sanction discrimination, particularly against LGBT Hoosiers.
Senate lawmakers Wednesday added a hurdle to a bill that would have allowed newborn incubators, or “baby boxes” to be placed at Safe Haven sites. The legislature would now have to pass another bill next year to authorize the boxes.
Baby boxes are installed into the walls special locations – like hospitals and police and fire stations. They’re meant to provide mothers an extra layer of anonymity when dropping off unwanted newborns.
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.
U.S. Senator Dan Coats Tuesday announced he will not run for re-election in 2016.
Coats had spoken in recent months about whether to run again, noting that how Congress functioned with Republican majorities would play a major role.
In a video statement Tuesday, the Hoosier Senator said choosing not to run was not an easy decision.
“While I believe I am well-positioned to run a successful campaign for another six-year term, I have concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders,” he said.
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.
Legislation approved by a Senate panel Tuesday aims to bolster financial protections for active duty National Guard members and reservists.
The federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act doesn’t necessarily extend to members of the Indiana National Guard or reservists. And the Attorney General’s office made a state-level protection bill part of its agenda for the session.
The measure helps protect Guard members and reservists who’ve been on active duty for at least 30 days from foreclosures and default.