Local reaction to new Indiana RFRA changes

Published: Apr. 2, 2015 at 10:19 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2015 at 10:32 PM CDT
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INDIANA (WFIE) - On Thursday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence approved the "clarification bill" to the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Hours earlier, Indiana legislators made changes to the RFRA, after a week of heavy criticism.

The new version includes anti-discrimination safeguards, making it clear that no business other than a church or church-affiliated school can deny services based on sexual orientation, race, religion or disability.

Those opposing the original law, say it acted as a license to discriminate, rather than a protection against attacks on religion.

While some opposing the original law are still unhappy, we spoke with an organizer of a local LGBT group, who says these changes are a step in the right direction.

On the national level, Angie's List is still stopping their $40 million expansion and construction in Indiana.

The President of Tri-State Alliance, the primary social services and education organization for our local LGBT community, shares with me the change in the law he'd like to see next.

"I think the cleanest fix would have been to repeal the bill and to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Indiana non-discrimination laws," said the President of Tri-State Alliance, Wally Paynter. "That didn't happen today. But, I think a lot of business leaders are pleased."

On Thursday, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke tweeted, saying he believes the changes gives proper balance of protecting religious liberty while also ensuring the law is not used as an excuse for discrimination.

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