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Democrats Mock Pence's Talk Of Clarifying RFRA

Office of the Governor

Opponents of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act say Governor Mike Pence’s push to “clarify” the controversial law is too little, too late.  RFRA – which exists in 30 other states and in federal law – establishes a judicial test that courts must use to decide when government can infringe on a person’s religious beliefs and practices.

Since the governor signed RFRA into law Thursday, there’s been a severe local and national backlash.  Companies and organizations, including the NCAA, NFL, NBA and Apple, expressed reservations over the measure, with some threatening to sever ties with the state.  Angie’s List halted plans to build a new headquarters in Indianapolis.  Pence is adamant that RFRA does not legitimize or sanction discrimination.  But in an Indianapolis Star interview Saturday, the governor said he would work with legislators to clarify the law.  Indianapolis Democratic Representative Ed DeLaney authored an amendment to RFRA emphasizing that preventing discrimination would be a legitimate reason the government could infringe on someone’s religious beliefs.  House Republicans dismissed that amendment.  But DeLaney says after the firestorm of criticism that’s erupted over RFRA, introducing language similar to his in an attempt to “clarify” the law isn’t enough.

“Our people need a strong statement against discrimination if we’re going to get our state back on the proper economic keel,” says DeLaney.

On Sunday, Pence told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos he does not support adding protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation to the state’s civil rights statute.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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