Indiana Bows To Pressure, Will Clarify Religious Objection Law To Prohibit Discrimination

Coburn Palmer

Indiana’s Republican led legislature said Monday they’re working to clarify the religious objection law that has drawn nationwide criticism to specify that it doesn’t allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The move follows an interview this weekend in which Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told the Indianapolis Star he would support such legislation to clarify the religious law.

“I support religious liberty, and I support this law. But we are in discussions with legislative leaders this weekend to see if there’s a way to clarify the intent of the law.”

As it stands, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act prohibits Indiana state laws that would “substantially burden” someone’s ability to follow their religious beliefs.

The law has drawn huge amounts of criticism across the country as detractors say it could be used to allow discrimination against gays and lesbians and push the equality movement back 20 years.

Monday, Indiana Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma told the San Francisco Chronicle that both supporters and opponents of the law had mischaracterized it.

“What we had hoped for with the bill was a message of inclusion, inclusion of all religious beliefs. What instead has come out as a message of exclusion, and that was not the intent.”

Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, however, told the San Francisco Chronicle the only way to stem the criticism that has swept the nation is to repeal the law entirely.

“That is the only thing that will start the process of reversing the damage that has been done to the people of this state.”

Over the weekend, Gov. Mike Pence defended the law, saying it would not be repealed, but dodged questions about whether it allowed discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The Governor has been under intense scrutiny concerning the law from both sides of the aisle and across the country while Indiana’s economy has been threatened as Americans have promised to boycott the state.

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The hashtag #boycott Indiana has appeared on Twitter as reported by the Inquisitr, and the city of San Francisco announced it would stop doing any kind of public business with the state.

The Mayor of Seattle also banned it’s city employees from using public funds to visit the state while Angie’s List joined a growing number of companies that vowed to boycott the state.

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The intense negative pressure across the country appears to have succeeded in triggering a response by the Indiana state government, which will probably consider the corrected language this week.