Discriminatory Bill Passed in Indiana



The controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act has stirred many to protest and hope the law gets repealed.

Jake Paz, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, March 31, Governor of Indiana Mike Pence signed and passed the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA), which violates citizens’ civil liberties by providing businesses a “shield” that allows them to deny service to a group of people because of religious beliefs, thus legalizing discrimination due to someone’s sexual orientation and protecting businesses that do so. The “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” should not be allowed because it violates peoples’ basic rights.

Critics of the law say that it law allows businesses to legally discriminate against gay people by refusing their business if the business owner’s religion does not support homosexuals. Indiana is not the only state to pass a Religious Freedom law; in fact, 20 other states, including Florida, have religious freedom laws, as can be seen here. In a country where all men and women are created equal, it is absurd to allow people to get away with discriminating against others.   


Some politicians, like Pence, claim that the law is not about promoting the discrimination of members in the LGBT community.

“Indiana is standing here for religious liberty, but there was never any intention in this law to create a license to discriminate and we will clarify that in the days ahead and we will fix this and move forward,” Pence said.

The full Fox interview with Pence can be found here. In fact, politicians say that its main purpose is to protect businesses from discrimination lawsuits due to them declining service to someone due to their religious beliefs. Many businesses have been sued for discrimination in the past and have lost money since there were no laws protecting them at the time. For example, a photographer was sued by a gay couple after refusing to take the pictures at their marriage due to his religious morals.

The Religious Freedom law in Indiana fails to clarify that it can not be used by business owners to discriminate against gay customers. Although the state does have anti-discrimination laws for homosexuals, this new law could potentially be used as a loophole to those laws.

“The law is just outright prejudice and unfair since it’s restricting gay people’s rights and I think it doesn’t really help anyone and was passed just so they could legally discriminate against gays,” sophomore Kevin Jimenez said.

Indiana’s Religious Freedom law should definitely be amended in order to specify that store owners can not deny service because of sexual orientation. The law should still allow citizens to have religious freedom, but not in a way that leads to the discrimination of others.