Monday, March 23, 2015

Indiana Congress Set to Pass Controversial Freedom of Religion Legislation

Charlie Nye / The Star

The Indiana House passed a bill concerning religious freedom for businesses. It essentially allows business owners to deny services to same-sex couples based on their religious freedoms. It is likely that this bill will pass the Senate and the Governor of Indiana will sign it. For obvious reasons, this bill is controversial because it would allow for discrimination against gays and lesbians.

This relates to Hobby Lobby’s exemption from the contraception part of the Affordable Care Act. Both the Hobby Lobby Court case and the Indiana bill were based on a law called the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.

Both local companies such as Salesforce and gay rights groups have expressed opposition to this bill. Supporters like Rep. Bruce Borders, R-Jasonville claim that people deserve religious freedoms in the workplace as well.

Campaign Manager for Freedom Indiana said, "We turn our attention now to Governor Pence who, like Governor Jan Brewer in Arizona, has the ability to stop this dangerous bill dead in its tracks when it hits his desk," Even so, Pence, Governor of Indiana, will likely sign the bill as he has continued to express support of it.

What do you think of the bill? Do you think it will be challenged in Supreme Court? If it passes, will more states follow the example?


Andros Petrakis said...

Honestly I laughed when I read this. It is comical, even trivial to me that in 2015 a state in the USA would legalize segregation, especially with our extensive history regarding the battle for equality. This is literally textbook segregation. cites this as "the act or practice of segregating; a setting apart or separation of people or things from others or from the main body or group", with an example of "Gender segregation in some fundamentalist religions". It uses this exact issue to give a clear picture of what segregation is.
I would be shocked if a Supreme Court case doesn't come of this in the next 5 years. The only possible defense I could see of this is somehow manipulating the first amendment to apply to who you serve in your business, even though it has already been interpreted as only being able to believe in a religion, not necessarily act on it (polygamy in Mormonism)
Just to be clear, my laughter wasn’t in the “hah down with the gays” sense, but the “this is so ridiculous it’s actually funny” sense.

Andros Petrakis said...

my source:

Emma Wynn said...

Andros, I completely and wholeheartedly agree. I actually was baffled when I saw the article as well. A law like this makes no sense and should be challenged in the Supreme Court. It just doesn't make sense that a company should exclude a group of people just based on their sexual orientation. It will be interesting to see if this turns into an Indiana law.