INDIANA: House Committee Approves Religious License To Discriminate Bill
An Indiana House committee today approved controversial religious freedom legislation after those on both sides of the issue rallied in the hallways of the Statehouse. The House Judiciary Committee voted 9-4 to send the measure to the full House for consideration. Supporters say Senate Bill 101 is necessary to protect the freedom of people with strong religious beliefs, including business owners who don't want to provide services for same-sex wedding ceremonies. Opponents say the measure would license discrimination against gays and lesbians.RELATED: An outfit called Open For Service has begun selling stickers for businesses that want to declare their non-discrimination stance.
The battle over the bill mirrors last year's fight over a proposal that would have banned same-sex marriage in Indiana's constitution. But this year's legislation is raising new questions about the line between religious liberty and discrimination. Freedom Indiana, the coalition of employers, gay rights groups and faith leaders who successfully stalled the marriage amendment last year, rallied against the religious freedom measure Monday morning, packing the House gallery with opponents wearing red T-shirts.