Concerns remain over RFRA in LGBT community

Published: Jul. 2, 2015 at 1:33 AM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 9:26 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A law that put Indiana in the national spotlight is now in effect.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, in part, allows business owners to deny services based upon religious beliefs, but they can't discriminate based upon sexual orientation.

Some though fear that won't be the case.

Even though the new law says services can't be denied to gays and lesbians, members of the LGBT community are not a protected class in Indiana.

That means when it comes to things like employment, discrimination against gays and lesbians is legal.

Members of the Tri-State Alliance say many people don't realize that gays and lesbians can be fired from their jobs in Indiana just because of their sexual orientation.

Now that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, some hope that will help pave the way to make gays and lesbians a protected class.

"I think a discussion will start in the general assembly in January," said Wally Paynter of Tri-State Alliance.  "On the first go-around, I don't know if it will pass, but I think there are some Republicans and almost all Democrats that want to see this discussion happen.  So, I think it will be a good starting point."

Here in the Tri-State, Illinois does include gays and lesbians as a protected class.

Both Indiana and Kentucky do not.

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