Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a formerly prominent Republican, is flabbergasted by the uproar about Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. After all, it has the same name as a Federal law and laws in 19 other states.
There are three main differences:
1. Indiana’s law explicitly allows for-profit businesses to assert a right to “the free exercise of religion.”
2. Indiana’s law allows businesses to assert such rights as a defense against lawsuits by private individuals, not just against actions brought by government.
“So, let’s review the evidence: … there’s ‘nothing significant’ about this law that differs from the federal one, and other state ones—except that it has been carefully written to make clear that 1) businesses can use it against 2) civil-rights suits brought by individuals.”
— “What Makes Indiana’s Religious-Freedom Law Different?” Garrett Epps, The Atlantic
3. Timing. Public opinion in America has swung in favor of same-sex marriage, and Indiana Republicans are out of step with their “freedom to discriminate” legislation.
“Indiana’s Mike Pence is starting to look like Lester Maddox — without the spine,” Joan Walsh, Salon
Legal types can see a letter by 30 law school professors here.
“When ‘Religious Liberty’ Was Used To Justify Racism Instead Of Homophobia,” Ian Millhiser, Think Progress
“Disciples Of Christ Cancels 2017 Convention In Protest Of Religious Freedom Law,” Daniel Strauss, TPM Livewire
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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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