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Anti-RFRA Rally Draws Thousands

Gretchen Frazee/WFIU News

About 3,000 people converged at the Indiana Statehouse Saturday to protest Indiana’s new ‘religious freedom’ law, known as RFRA. The rally is part of a backlash that’s only picked up steam since Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill in a private ceremony last week.

Opponents of RFRA say it opens the door to legal discrimination  – particularly against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. They’re not explicitly protected by Indiana’s civil rights law, and RFRA could allow businesses to refuse them services based on religious grounds. They say the law sends the wrong message about Indiana – and its capital city.

"This is not 1915 Alabama. This is 2015 Indiana. And I’m here to say that this law is not welcome here," says City-County Councilor Zach Adamson, a Democrat and vocal opponent of RFRA. Adamson and others worry that the law will make it hard to recruit business, and the talent pool to work at them.

RFRA has unleashed a torrent of bad PR for Indianapolis – and the state – in social media and in the press. That’s not all: After software company Salesforce said it was cancelling its expansion, Indy-based Angie’s List said on Saturday that it’s halting plans for a $40 million expansion on the Eastside.

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