Indiana Senate Committee Stops ‘Super RFRA’ to Begin Day Filled with Several LGBT Bills

By Adam Polaski • January 27, 2016 • 11:39 am

This morning, January 27, the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee did not hear any testimony or a vote on Senate Bill 66 – which has become known as a “Super RFRA.” The bill is now very likely dead for the legislative session. S.B. 66 would have made it legal for any business or individual to ignore local laws that are already on the books to protect LGBT individuals from discrimination.

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Later today, at 4:00pm, Indiana committees will hear two additional bills – both of which are also deeply flawed – that purport to extend non-discrimination protections to LGBT Hoosiers. One is problematic in its overreach of existing local ordinances, and the other completely excludes transgender Hoosiers from the critical protections.

Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, celebrated the news about the Super RFRA’s death today. He said:

“Senate Bill 66 would have dealt a devastating blow to Indiana’s already damaged reputation. While we are pleased to see this discriminatory bill died a well deserved death, it’s important to remember that LGBT Hoosiers and visitors are still not protected from discrimination throughout most of the state.  In fact, with the passage of last year’s religious exemption bill, it is still legal to fire someone, kick them out of their homes or deny them public services based solely on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  This is wrong.”

McTighe continued: “Later this evening, the Senate Rules Committee will hear SB 100 and SB 344. While neither of these bills are where they need to be at this time, we hope the legislature will work with the business community and the vast majority of Hoosiers to advance equal protections for LGBT individuals.”

Indiana Competes, a business coalition working toward LGBT non-discrimination, and Freedom Indiana, a statewide grassroots group calling for full LGBT protections, also responded today:

“We stand together, as we have since the outset of this effort, to make it clear that our state must never again endure the economic and reputational harm caused by last year’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. There is no reason to have that debate again; the outcome can only be another disaster for our state and those who live, work and visit here. On the issue of updating our civil rights law to protect gay and transgender people, we are similarly in agreement: The solution is simple, yet lawmakers seem determined to complicate the matter.”

Learn more about the fight for non-discrimination in Indiana.


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