Report: Indiana GOP Leaders Circulating Proposed Changes To License-To-Discriminate Bill

Jim Burroway

April 1st, 2015

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Indiana GOP leaders are vetting a proposed deal with business leaders and the Governor that would explicitely state that the law couldn’t be used as a defense against anti-gay discrimination:

A copy of the language obtained by The Indianapolis Star was being presented to Gov. Mike Pence Wednesday morning. The measure would specify that the new religious freedom law cannot be used as a legal defense to discriminate against residents based on their sexual orientation.

The measure goes much further than a “preamble” that was proposed earlier in the week, explaining exactly what the RFRA law does. But it doesn’t go as far as establishing gays and lesbians as a protected class of citizens or repealing the law outright, both things that Republican leaders have said they could not support.

The clarification would say that the new “religious freedom” law does not authorize a provider – including businesses or individuals – to refuse to offer or provide its services, facilities, goods, or public accommodation to any member of the public based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, or military service.

The proposed language exempts churches or other nonprofit religious organizations – including affiliated schools – from the definition of “provider.”

Democrats continue to call for full repeal of the state’s RFRA. The bill’s supporters, including the American Family Association of Indiana, the Indiana Family Institute, and Advance America, have not commented on the proposed changes. It’s also not clear how the proposed changes will go down with the Republican caucus in the legislature. They are due to meet tomorrow at noon to discuss the chagnes. Those reactions will be telling, considering all of the objections voiced by Pence and others that the bill somehow had nothing to do  with making super-doublely sure that discrimination against LGBT people would be perfectly legal.

Richard Rush

April 1st, 2015

“The measure would specify that the new religious freedom law cannot be used as a legal defense to discriminate against residents based on their sexual orientation.”

BUT, will they be able to discriminate against people for deciding to enter into a same-sex marriage – which does not require the spouses to be homosexual. So, from a technical standpoint, that discrimination would be entirely different than discrimination based on sexual orientation.

I smell the deceptive setup of a loophole here.

Mark F.

April 1st, 2015

@ Richard I can’t believe any court would agree with your interpretation of that phrase.


April 2nd, 2015

OT but I know that this is of interest to BTB: Just heard a hilarious interview with Peter LaBarbera on VCY America. The interview covered a number of gay news developments, but of particular interest was some news about Alan Chambers. Apparently, Chambers is coming out with a book called “My Exodus,” which will be the story of how Chambers became disillusioned with Exodus and anti-gay posturing and changed his outlook. LaBarbera was ranting about a video he had recently seen of Chambers being interviewed. Chambers apparently denounced the Restore Hope Network as “reprehensible” and said that “God is cool with same-sex marriage.” I looked for a recent video of Chambers on YT and the link below is what came up. I haven’t watched it yet, so it may not be the interview discussed by LaBarbera, but I suspect that it is.

LaBarbera went on to fume that Chambers, Randy Thomas and Yvette Schneider had all “sold out Christianity.” The collapse of Exodus really drives LaBarbera nuts.

Ben in oakland

April 2nd, 2015

I was trying to explain this whole can o’ worms to my German Norwegian visitors. I think the whole thing is delicious.

Pence has claimed the bill is not about legalizing discrimination against gay people. we all know, of course, that that is exactly what it is about.

If he admits it IS about discrimination, he has just set up the demise of the bill and its provisions. animus and moral disapproval are not sufficient justification for laws. I think most courts would toss it.

On the other hand, If he says the bill is not intended to permits legal discrimination, he will piss off the teabilly Christianists. And he will be quoted by the first litigant to challenge such discrimination.

If only he didn’t have that completely unwarranted belief in his own wholly imaginary superiority as a Christian, a heterosexual, a moral person, and a human being. He would never have gotten himself into this mess.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.


April 2nd, 2015

Ker-flush goes Pence’ primary chances with the rabble, err .. the base.

Richard Rush

April 14th, 2015

My previous comment concerning the creation of a loophole may not have been too far off the mark. Marco Rubio said this in an interview yesterday with NPR:

. . . I don’t believe it’s right for a florist to say, I’m not going to provide you flowers because you’re gay. I think there’s a difference between not providing services to a person because of their identity, who they are or who they love, and saying, I’m not going to participate in an event, a same-sex wedding, because that violates my religious beliefs. There’s a distinction between those two things. . .

Ben in oakland

April 14th, 2015

That is what they are claiming, Richard. I’ve had a few long discussions about “participating” in idolatrous, demon worshipping Hindu weddings, versus Christ centered gay weddings.

Basically, when I asked “what’ she difference?”, I was told, “it just is!!!!”

Eric Payne

April 14th, 2015

So, if a caterer (or florist, photographer or baker) is “participating” in a wedding… a wedding to which they are not invited and to which they don’t bring a gift for the happy couple… does that mean Ryder rentals participated in the Oklahoma City bombing because the provided Timothy McVeigh with the truck?

Priya Lynn

April 14th, 2015

Or does the person who resurfaces the ice at a hockey game “participate” in that game? Obviously not.

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