3.30.15: Indiana state lawmakers to address religious objections law
NDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Both Democratic and Republican leaders in the Indiana General Assembly plan news conferences to address a new state law that’s been criticized over concerns it could foster discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Republican Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma plan a Monday morning event, saying they’ll “discuss their plans for clarifying” the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
A half-hour later Monday morning Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane and House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath plan a news conference “to respond to calls for legislative action” regarding the law.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the measure last week and defended it during a television appearance Sunday. The act prohibits state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs.
Gov. Pence is defending his state’s new religious rights law from criticism that it could foster discrimination against gays.
Pence appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss the Religious Freedom Restoration Act he signed last week prohibiting state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs.
The Republican did not answer directly when asked whether it would be legal for a business to refuse to serve gay customers. Pence said the law is “about empowering people to confront government overreach” and is modeled on a 1993 federal law.
Pence said if lawmakers send him a bill to clarify the law’s intent, he’ll look at it, but insisted that the law won’t be changed.