Easter, Final Four Shortening Timeline To Fix RFRA

Apr 1, 2015
Frankie Leon / https://www.flickr.com/photos/armydre2008/16671230120

If Statehouse Republicans hope to meet Governor Mike Pence’s end-of-the-week deadline fix the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, they’ll have to make those fixes Thursday.

That’s because the Easter holiday weekend and the culmination of the NCAA basketball tournament Monday mean lawmakers are about to take a four-day weekend.

House Speaker Brian Bosma maintains the bill never allowed discrimination, but says new language will clarify that point.

Senate President David Long says the language is still in discussion and nothing has been decided.


More than half a dozen university presidents have penned open letters opposing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.

“I had been watching the law develop and its repercussions over a couple days and I felt personally very strong about it," says DePauw University President Brian Casey. Like most, Casey's letter is personal – addressed as much from the administrator as from the university.

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he wants to see legislation on his desk by the end of the week that clarifies the intent of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.

The governor says RFRA is meant to protect people’s religious liberties and does not allow businesses to deny services to gay and lesbian couples.

“No one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love or what they believe," Pence says.

Pence says much of the criticism Indiana has been receiving is because of misunderstanding about what the law actually does.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Republican leaders announced Monday they will introduce legislative language to clarify that Indiana’s religious freedom bill will not allow discrimination against anyone.  But Democratic leaders Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) say full repeal of the law must be the first step…with the second being legislation to specifically protect LGBT Hoosiers through the state’s anti-discrimination law.  But Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says with only four weeks left in the session, now isn’t the time for that debate:

Jimmy Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/3904663983

Nationwide scrutiny aimed at Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act may be making Arkansas legislators uncomfortable about passing their own religious freedom bill.

The bill, named the “Conscience Protection Act,” follows the same argument as Indiana’s religious freedom bill – that religious liberties are under stack and need protection. The bill awaits House approval on Senate amendments before going to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Brandon Smith / http://www.ipbs.org/

Republican legislative leaders say they want to help turn the tide against the backlash that’s erupted over Indiana’s so-called religious freedom bill.  They say that will involve making it clear the law does not allow discrimination.

Office of the Governor / http://www.in.gov/

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.

Anti-RFRA Rally Draws Thousands

Mar 30, 2015
Gretchen Frazee/WFIU News / http://www.ipbs.org/

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.

Marc Benioff / Twitter / https://twitter.com/Benioff/status/581108959337136129

As Governor Mike Pence signed the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law Thursday, he blamed the media for what he calls a misunderstanding of the law. 

RFRA establishes a judicial test that courts will use to decide when the government can infringe on a person’s religious beliefs and practices.  Many groups say they’re concerned it will be used to sanction discrimination, particularly against LGBT Hoosiers.  But Pence says if he thought the law, which exists at the federal level and in 30 other states, was discriminatory, he would have vetoed it.

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

Ever traveled from city to city and noticed that the police cars look the same, except for the paint?

This week on Ask The Mayor, we quiz Crawfordsville’s Todd Barton about that phenomenon and engage him on a larger discussion about purchasing.

Do cities follow a pack mentality, or can they branch out on their own and make decisions specific to them?

We also chat about the mayor’s feelings on the so-called "religious freedom" bill Governor Pence signed this morning.