New law explicitly denies conscience protections for small business owners; LGBT Lobby not appeased — demands full ENDA-type legislation for Indiana
By Peter LaBarbera
In a stunning, politically-correct turnaround following a week of LGBT protests and media and business opposition, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence yesterday signed into law a pro-homosexual legislative “fix” of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)–effectively turning it into Indiana’s first statewide homosexual “rights” law.
The language of the revised RFRA crafted by Indiana’s Republican House and Senate leaders and signed into law by Gov. Pence stipulates that the new RFRA “does not authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodation, goods, employment, or housing” to any Indiana citizen on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”–in addition to the usual criteria such as race, sex and disability. [See the full language HERE.]
When asked specifically at a press conference yesterday if the revised RFRA legislation could be used to defend the besieged owners of an Indiana pizza shop who told a reporter that theoretically they would not serve a homosexual “wedding,” Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma said:
The law still protects churches and religious, non-profit organizations from being forced to participate in homosexual “weddings”–but not everyday small businessmen like the owners of the Indianapolis cookie stand “Just Cookies.” In 2012, the Christian owners of Just Cookies declined on principle to make “rainbow cookies” for a homosexual student group at Purdue University-Indianapolis. “Gay’ activists led a campaign against the company using Indianapolis’ “sexual orientation” statute; ultimately the owners settled with the city without paying damages. [To read about other conscience victims of the homosexual agenda, see this WND Whistleblower article by the author.]
Thus, a RFRA law that in the eyes of many conservatives was about, in part, protecting small business people of faith from being forced to participate in homosexuality-based “marriages”–was suddenly transformed into a law that specifically rejects protections for businesses owned by Christians and others morally opposed to the idea of celebrating homosexual behavior and same-sex relationships.
As Barbwire.com founder and Liberty University associate dean Matt Barber (an AFTAH Board Member) puts it, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act had morphed–through Republican capitulation to corporate, media and “gay” pressure–into the “Religious Freedom Destruction Act.”
Needless to say, the RFRA reversal has not appeased LGBT activists, who are demanding a comprehensive statewide homosexual/transgender “rights” law in Indiana. See the graphic above and this Human Rights Campaign article that goes with it.
Below is an excerpt from the Indianapolis Star on Gov. Pence signing the RFRA “fix” and the legislative action that preceded his action. There is video of a joint press conference by House Speaker Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long on the Star’s website:
The [“fix”] measure could put to rest some of the harsher criticisms that Indiana Republicans have suffered through in the past week. But it is unlikely to make either liberal or conservative activists happy and easily prefaces a future Statehouse battle over LGBT protections.
In fact, Long said he thought it was likely lawmakers would take up full LGBT protections next year.
The compromise legislation specifies that the new religious freedom law cannot be used as a legal defense to discriminate against patrons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The proposal goes much further than a “preamble” that was proposed earlier in the week, and, if it stands, would be the first time any protections against discrimination have been extended to gays and lesbians in state law. But it doesn’t go as far as establishing gays and lesbians as a protected class of citizens statewide or repealing the law outright, both things Republican leaders have said they could not support.
Specifically, the new language says the RFRA does not authorize a provider — including businesses or individuals — to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, goods, employment, housing or public accommodation to any member of the public based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex or military service.
This article was posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2015 at 12:04 pm and is filed under "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", "Sexual Orientation"/"Gender Identity" and the Law, A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, Corporate Promotion, Gay Rights vs. Others' Rights, Government Promotion, Media Promotion, News, The Bible, Churches, & Homosexuality. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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