Indiana law shakes business from state

Religious Freedom Restoration Act causes discrimination concerns

Isaac Brown, Staff Writer

Back in 93, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was passed into federal law with the intent of protecting individual rights. In 2014, the Supreme Court expanded that decision to include corporations. Indiana has recently signed similar revisions into law for their own RFRA.

The way their law is worded enables private business owners to deny services to others based on religious beliefs. Indiana’s governor, Mike Pence, claims the law was never intended to discriminate, but efforts to put anti-discrimination laws in place were quickly shot down. As local businesses announce their intent to discriminate when the law comes into on July first, boycotts of the state start pouring in.

Angie’s List cancelled their $40 million expansion plans for their headquarters in Indianapolis. Governors and mayors are banning state and city funded travel to Indiana.

A long list of celebrities, including Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, have announced their disapproval of the state’s action. Even our own governor, Scott Walker said in a press conference, “In our state there’s a balance between wanting to make sure that there’s not discrimination [and] at the same time respecting religious freedoms. … We do that in different ways than what they’ve done in Indiana.”

In reaction to the escalating political firestorm, Indiana legislators recently announced they will add clarification that the law. LGBT protections are expected to be introduced to law within the coming months. Despite this, we can expect Indiana to be the brunt of bigotry humor for years to come.