Indiana Religious Freedom Law

Indiana Religious Freedom Law

Claire Payne, Reporter

Recently, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a law declaring “religious freedom,” granting businesses the right to refuse services on religious grounds. Many have interpreted this to allow businesses to turn away gay customers because of “religious freedom.”

Consequently, many are not pleased with this law. In fact, Washington, Connecticut, San Francisco, and Seattle have actually banned official travel to Indiana. Also, the rock band Wilco announced that they are canceling their scheduled show in Indiana, saying that the law “feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination.”

Additionally, Apple CEO, Tim Cook even wrote an entire article in the Washington Post, condemning the dangerous new law. Cook says, “These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.”

Even a few celebrities have spoken out about it. Stephen King said, “Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration act is gay discrimination, pure and simple. You can frost a dog turd, but it’s still a dog turd.” Hillary Clinton said, “Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against [people because] of who they love #LGBT.” Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” said, “Gay people aren’t asking you to make a gay product. They’re just asking to buy the product you make. … I can’t believe Indiana would get away with this type of discrimination.”

Even Twitter’s global public policy team account tweeted: “We’re disappointed to see state bills that enshrine discrimination. These bills are unjust and bad for business. We support #EqualityForAll.”

On the other side, there are quite a few important politicians who have spoken in support of the law. Jeb Bush said, “This is simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs, to have, to be able to be people of conscience. I just think once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all.” Ted Cruz tweeted, “I’m proud to stand with Gov. @mike_pence for religious liberty, and I urge Americans to do the same.”

Furthermore, a pizza shop, Memories Pizza, was the first business in the state to declare it will not service gay weddings, saying, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.” A GoFundme page is set up to support the business, and raised $842,592 by Saturday morning. The fundraiser was set up after critics attacked pizza shop online, posting scathing reviews on Yelp and in one case threatening to burn down the business.

Whether or not the bill was intended to discriminate, Pence has signed one of the most controversial bills.