Pence signs proposed 'fix' to Indiana religious freedom law

Leah Hope Image
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Lawmakers propose 'fix' to religious freedom law
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Changes to Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Law were unveiled Thursday.

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has signed changes to Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Law, which were unveiled Thursday by the state's republican legislative leaders.

Lawmakers say the "fix" was proposed to prevent discrimination.

"Gay, straight, black, white, religious, non-religious - we value each and every Hoosier," said Rep. Brian Bosma, Indiana House Speaker.

"So when reaching the agreement to clarify the law, which will unequivocally state - as the speaker said in the strongest possible terms - that Indiana's law does not and will not be able to discriminate against anyone, anywhere at any time," said David Long, president pro tempore, Indiana Senate.

Freddy's Steakhouse has been a part of Hammond, Ind. for over 50 years. The owners have been trying to find ways to expand and bring in more business as the new Indiana law draws criticism.

"It's a scar on the state and we just want to make sure that we're not labeled like that because that's not what we are here and that's not what our culture is," said Bill Maune of Freddy's Steakhouse.

"If a gay couple was to come in, like say they wanted us to provide them pizzas for a wedding, we would have to say no," said Crystal O'Conner, who works in a local pizza shop.

Some in Northwest Indiana hope all Hoosier businesses will be lumped together.

"We really in fact do not want to see anything that implies that we're not who we try to be - a very warm, welcoming community, and we just hope the ramifications don't affect our city," said Chuck Hughes, Gary Chamber of Commerce.

"We've known tolerance much, much longer than many other parts of the state, so to us - we're all growing a bit weary of it," said Speros A. Batistatos, Indiana South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.