March 30, 2015

Democratic Legislative Leaders Say Trying To 'Fix' RFRA Not Enough

Democratic Legislative Leaders Say Trying To 'Fix' RFRA Not Enough

Democratic legislative leaders say trying to “fix” Indiana’s so-called religious freedom law isn’t enough to stem the tide of outrage over the controversial measure. They’re calling for a much stronger statement against discrimination.

Republican leaders announced Monday they will introduce legislative language to clarify that Indiana’s religious freedom bill will not allow discrimination against anyone.  But Democratic leaders Tim Lanane and Scott Pelath say full repeal of the law must be the first step, with the second being legislation to specifically protect LGBT Hoosiers through the state’s anti-discrimination law. 

But Speaker Brian Bosma says with only four weeks left in the session, now isn’t the time for that debate.

“I think that’s an uphill battle to get that very controversial issue – which has only been successful in a minority of states – to get that resolved here in short order,” Bosma said.

But Lanane says Republicans need to make time.

“Many, many other states have already adopted it into their state civil rights act, so we can look to them for guidance on this thing," Lanane said. "There’s certainly a way to solve this.”

Local ordinances in 12 Indiana cities protect gays and lesbians from discrimination, but some fear those could be at risk under the new law.

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