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Indiana ‘religious freedom’ law updated to protect LGBT people

Naith Payton April 2, 2015

Indiana lawmakers announced they’ve reached an agreement to update the controversial new law.

Lawmakers across the state have reached a compromise over the issue of religious freedom and protecting LGBT people from discrimination. It now clarifies that the law cannot be used to discriminate against anyone in the provision of good and services, including LGBT people.

Senate President David Long said according to the Indy Star: “It was never intended to discriminate against anyone. That perception led to the national protests we’ve seen.

“We feel there is a strong consensus. We feel good about it. We did a lot of hard work to bring the groups together to find the comfort level everyone feels does the job of truly saying this does not discriminate against anyone.”

The law now states it cannot be used to “authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public based on race, colour, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.” This is the first time sexual orientation and gender identity have been specifically protected in Indiana law.

Hate group American Family Association said of the proposed changes: “At this very moment, the Indiana Senate is considering “water-down” language to the recently passed and pro-religious-liberty bill, Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Homosexual activists are demanding Christian business owners in Indiana be forced to compromise their faith.”

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma said he was pleased with the changes because “Hoosier hospitality had to be restored.”

Yesterday a pizza restaurant said it would use the law to justify refusing to serve pizza at a gay wedding.

More: Indiana, Mike Pence, religious freedom, US

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