LGBT Protections Included in Proposed Amendment to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Act [UPDATED]

Update [4/3/2015, 9:58 am]: From The Indy Star: “Gov. Mike Pence has signed into law a measure aimed at removing fears that the state’s new “religious freedom” law would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.” More here.

Original: Good news: Lawmakers have proposed a fix to Indiana’s much-talked-about Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). As you’ve likely read, the law had many worried that it would give businesses the right to discriminate against LGBT customers by allowing them to cite religion as a defense in court if they were sued by a private party. That all may change, though. New wording in the law “goes further than many observers thought it would, specifically including protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” says Huffington Post.

The language states that RFRA “does not authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member of the general public on the basis of … sexual orientation or gender identity.” It also says that a provider can not use religion as a defense in court if they are sued by a private party for denying services based on their sexual orientation or identity. Read the complete proposed change below:


Image from Huffington Post

Legislators will present the proposed amendment to lawmakers this morning. According to HuffPo, “A conference committee will need to discuss the changes before they go to the General Assembly for approval. Then it must be signed by Governor Mike Pence, who, even though he initially resisted adding such language, has “asked the legislature … to send him new language, to clear up what the governor called ‘mischaracterizations.'”

Stay tuned for updates.

More RFRA Reading: