RFRA

Indiana’s highly-publicized First Church of Cannabis is going to court, hoping to stop the state from enforcing marijuana laws when it comes to the use of cannabis in its church services.  The church’s attorney will use the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act or RFRA to help his case.

RFRA creates a legal standard that says government must have a compelling reason to restrict someone’s religious practice and do so in the least burdensome way possible. 

Courtesy / ACLU

Indiana’s religious freedom law known as RFRA will be used for the first time in a suit challenging a new state law that bars sex offenders from churches.

A new law that went into effect Wednesday says people convicted of sex offenses against children cannot enter school property.  And ACLU-Indiana legal director Ken Falk says because that phrase “school property” is broadly written, it could mean that offenders can’t attend religious services if the church is next to a school. 

State of Indiana

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.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

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.

Pence Promises Legislative Clarification for RFRA

Mar 31, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he wants to see legislation on his desk by the end of the week that clarifies the intent of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

The governor says RFRA is meant to protect people’s religious liberties and does not allow businesses to deny services to gay and lesbian couples.

“No one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love or what they believe,” Pence said.

He added that much of the criticism Indiana has been receiving is because of a misunderstanding about what the law actually does.

Fort Wayne’s convention and visitor’s bureau is making its position known on the  controversial “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Visit Fort Wayne says it’s “Open for Business” and will continue to welcome all  visitors to the city. The organization says there have been inquiries by many of its convention clients  about its response to RFRA.

The law’s opponents say it will allow Hoosier businesses to discriminate against  LGBT people, while Governor Mike Pence says it has been mischaracterized.  

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

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.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

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. 

RFRA Opponents Say Measure Could Be Bad for Business

Mar 25, 2015
Courtesy / State of Indiana

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.

Andrew Downs / For WBOI News

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.

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