March 30, 2015

Republican Leaders Say They'll Work To Clarify RFRA

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate GOP Leader David Long talk with the media Monday morning in the Senate chamber. - Brandon Smith

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate GOP Leader David Long talk with the media Monday morning in the Senate chamber.

Brandon Smith

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.

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate GOP Leader David Long say there’s no way they could have anticipated the outrage over the passage of a law they note exists in 30 other states.  But in response to what they describe as “mischaracterizations” of the law – by both supporters and opponents – Long says the General Assembly will seek to allay people’s fears.

“We don’t believe that anyone should be discriminated against.  We wouldn’t have supported this law if we thought that was the effect of it," Long said. "To the extent that we need to clarify that by adding something to the law to make that clear – that it’s not the intent of the law – we’re more than willing to do it.  We plan to do that.”

Long and Bosma didn’t give specifics, though they say full repeal isn’t likely.  But Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane says that’s where the conversation needs to begin.

“When you have a bill that is this tainted, this corrupted, there’s no fix to it," Lanane said. "You just get rid of it.”

Bosma and Long say they hope to move quickly to clarify the law but wouldn’t give a timetable for legislative action.

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