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Indiana amends Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into effect on March 26, allowing Indiana businesses to cite religious freedom as a legal defense when refusing service.

Photo credit: Nate Chute

Photo credit: Nate Chute

Following opposition from individuals, businesses and events, including Indiana Convention Center’s largest tradeshow, Gen Con, the state passed an amendment to RFRA on April 2.

Clarifying that discrimination against certain customers would not be protected under RFRA, added legislative language states that “providers,” including individuals and businesses, cannot “refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”

Furthermore, the law cannot be used to “establish a defense to a civil action or criminal prosecution for refusal by a provider to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”

Visit Indy, the agency charged with marketing and promotion of Indianapolis, supported the amendment after openly contesting RFRA when it first passed on March 26.

“We are appreciative of the meetings industry, businesses, and city leaders who stood with us in opposing Indiana’s original RFRA legislation and getting the amendment passed,” Visit Indy said in a statement about the amendment.

 

See related articles
Gen Con supports amended Religious Freedom Restoration Act
IAEE openly disapproves Religious Freedom Restoration Act
CIC speaks out against discriminatory Indiana law
Indiana to lose Gen Con over religious law

Posted in Midwest News, World
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