Recently Indiana passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has caused lots of outrage all across the country. Indiana’s Republican Governor Mike Pence claims that the law he signed has had its reputation tarnished. According to Reuters.com Pence claimed, “The law protected people of all faiths from being forced by the government to go against their beliefs,” he rejected claims that the law intends to allow discrimination against same-sex couples.
The state’s legislature passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act with an overpowering majority. It found lots of support from conservatives including many possible presidential contenders on the Republican side.
USAToday.com reported on March 30, 2015 that Pence stood firm on his decision Sunday, saying he is willing to clarify the law and has no plans to change it. Today, March 31 Pence announced that he will “fix” the law to make it clear that, “businesses cannot use the law to deny services to same-sex couples,” reported by Reuters.com.
What caused the Governor to change his position? He went from just being willing to clarify the law to making sure it is “fixed.”
Companies such as Apple Inc and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., urge Governor Pence to shed more light on the law or to get rid of it. While Rock band Wilco canceled their show in Indianapolis to show protest. NCAA, an organization based in Indianapolis for university athletic programs, also showed concern over the law. Religious Freedom is crossing lines in the civil rights community.
Aside from companies and organizations there has been a lot of criticism against the law. TOWLEROAD.com reported that both Washington State and Portland will be banning any future government-funded travel to Indiana in response to the new Religious Freedom law.
Governor Jay Inslee of Washington posted a public statement on his website Governor.wa.gov,
“I find Indiana’s new law disturbing, particularly at a time when more and more states and people in America are embracing civil rights for everyone. Washington will join other states and cities in opposing this law and I will impose an administration-wide ban on state funded travel to Indiana….Indiana’s law appears to legalize private discrimination. Washington State fought against this very thing in a case Attorney General Bob Ferguson brought against a florist.”
Governor Inslee continued on to say that Washington stands for equalities, he also applauded the companies and organizations which have taken a public stand against expanding their operations in Indiana. He finished by inviting those companies and organizations to Washington, because they are, “Open for business, and open to all people.”
Mayor Charlie Hales, mayor of Portland agreed telling Kgw.com, “The law in Indiana is an outrage and it’s a step backwards.” While Hales realizes that many other states have also passed Religious Freedom laws most of those states have made it explicitly clear that discrimination against homosexuals is not allowed. Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, openly bisexual, was offended by the law. She told Kgw.com that no individual should suffer discrimination regardless of where they live or whom they love, she encouraged residents of Oregon to express their concerns.