In his State of the State speech, Indiana Governor Mike Pence made it clear that he expected religious freedom to take a starring role in 2016 legislation.
From National Journal:
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence declined to explicitly say Tuesday during his State of the State address whether lawmakers should add civil-rights protections for gays to state law, ensuring that the debate will continue as he seeks a second term.
Instead, Pence warned legislators to protect religious freedom, saying, “I will not support any bill that diminishes the religious freedom of Hoosiers or that interferes with the constitutional rights of our citizens to live out their beliefs in worship, service, or work.”
This is not good for Indiana. Anyone who wasn't under a rock in 2015 remembers the national uproar over Indiana's intensely anti-LGBT RFRA bill, a piece of legislation that was hurriedly toned down as both Hoosiers and the state business community cried foul. Governor Pence's speech is already causing discontented rumblings from those who have business interests in the state:
"He had an opportunity to lead our state and call for decisive action to show that Indiana is a welcoming state, but his rhetoric indicates he is willing to let Indiana be a state that welcomes most, not all," said Peter Hanscom, initiative manager for the business coalition Indiana Competes. "While Governor Pence emphasized tonight that Hoosiers should not be harassed or mistreated, he said nothing about condemning Hoosiers being fired, removed from their home or denied public service because of who they are."
We predict that we will hear a lot more of this unpleasantness from Indiana in the months to come.
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