Saturday, December 27, 2014

Religious Freedom Bill Coming to Indiana

By Tony Cook and Marisa Kwiatkowski
John Rusher (left) of Indianapolis takes exception to comments by Adam Briggs (wearing blue T-shirt), the pastor of the Damascus Road Bible Fellowship, and Richard Holst (holding a sign) at a rally at City Market in Downtown Indianapolis on Oct. 11, 2010. The rally was organized by LGBT groups to protest their treatment at the “Just Cookies” bakery at the market, but it attracted conservative protesters, too. (Photo: Sam Riche / The Star 2010 file photo)
INDIANA---A battle is shaping up in the Indiana legislature over a proposal that supporters say will protect people with strong religious beliefs, but that opponents say would legalize discrimination against gays and others. The legislation has been widely expected ever since a federal judge struck down Indiana's same-sex marriage ban in June. The bill's author, Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, said Friday that he intends to shore up gaps in Indiana's "religious liberty framework."It would allow small businesses — such as bakeries, caterers, florists, and wedding chapels — to refuse services to gay couples based on the owner's religious beliefs, he said. It would also allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples, he said. The focus has been on same-sex marriage because that's the hot topic right now, but it goes far beyond that," he said. "It's important to have some religious freedom and protection."[link]