People. Progress. Results.

How Indiana's religious freedom law sparked a battle over LGBT rights

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on April 01, 2015 at 11:18 AM

Originally published on Vox on March 31, 2015 by German Lopez.

The biggest political crisis of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's career is over a type of law that's been around for more than 20 years.

Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which Pence signed into law on March 26, says government can't intrude on a person's religious rights unless it has a compelling government interest and is acting in the least intrusive way possible.

Although RFRAs have been passed with little fanfare in 19 other states and at the federal level since the early 1990s, Indiana's law — which critics say could legally protect employers, landlords, and business owners who discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds — has made Pence the central figure in a new civil rights battle.

Since he signed the law, several public figures and businesses have come out against it. Renowned Star Trek actor George Takei has called for a boycott of the state. Angie's List, an online consumer ratings service, withdrew a $40 million expansion of its headquarters in Indianapolis. Apple CEO Tim Cook penned a Washington Post column describing the law and others like it as "very dangerous."

Read the full story here: