US: Indiana Passes Religious Freedom Bill

In a landslide 63-31 vote, the Indiana House of Representatives alarmed LGBT advocates Monday by passing a sweeping religious freedom bill that allows private parties — including businesses open to the public — to invoke a religious defense in legal cases.

Gov. Mike Pence resisted calls to veto the bill, issuing a statement that said the measure “is about respecting and reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact. I strongly support the legislation and applaud the members of the General Assembly for their work on this important issue. I look forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk.”

Critics had ramped up their campaign to defeat the measure in recent weeks, including delivering 10,000 letters of protest to the capitol Monday morning. Freedom Indiana and several national organizations argued the bill would create a loophole in civil rights laws & allow discrimination, particularly against LGBT people. Read More