Indiana governor signs revised religious freedom law

Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act debate. (Photo/WISH)

RICHMOND, Indiana, (WDTN) – Indiana lawmakers moved quickly on a change to the state’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, often commonly referred to as the religious freedom law.

Thursday afternoon, Governor Mike Pence signed a revised version of the state law, after the Indiana House and senate passed the amendment.

The language in the measure makes it clear that the state law does not allow businesses to refuse service to gays or other minority groups.

In Richmond, local leaders were awaiting to see what would come of what has now become a controversial decision.

Richmond has an ordinance to prevent discrimination, though it does not cover sexual orientation, which was the main question and frustration with Indiana’s new state law.

Councilmembers who spoke with 2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé say that while their ordinance hasn’t yet protected sexual orientation, they do not stand by the new state law or the changes made to it Thursday.

The Richmond leaders are not the only ones to speak out against the state law.

There’s been a quick reaction with backlash and accusations that the Indiana is targeting those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

Some Richmond Councilmembers say they don’t see why the new state law was even necessary.

“I think a lot of the damage has been done,” Councilman Bruce Wissel (R) said. “I will say I was very surprised. I wondered first of all why we thought we needed it.”

Councilwoman Kelley Cruse Nicholson (D) echoed her fellow councilmember’s sentiments, adding “In layman’s terms, you know, when you read it it’s ‘blah,blah,blah loophole. Blah, blah, blah loophole.’ You know, and I just think that it makes it very difficult then for you know anyone to look at this and even think that this is a respectable law at all.”

Cruse-Nicholson says despite these amendment, it is not enough. She calls for a repeal, which is what many across the nation have demanded.

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