Indianapolis Hub

Rihanna, Jack Antonoff Blast Indiana's Anti-Gay 'RFRA' at Final Four Concert: VIDEO


Rihanna blasted Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act during her set at the March Madness Music Fest over the weekend at Indianapolis' White River State Park before a performance of "Live Your Life".

Said the singer:

"Who’s feeling these new bulls--t laws that they’re trying to pass over here? I say f--k that s--t!" I wanna hear you say "F--- that s---!" "Cause we’re just living our motherf---ing lives. Indiana!"


Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff also showed solidarity against the anti-gay 'religious liberty' law, wearing a cut-off t-shirt that read "Protect LGBTQ Hoosiers".

Continue reading "Rihanna, Jack Antonoff Blast Indiana's Anti-Gay 'RFRA' at Final Four Concert: VIDEO" »

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Signs Non-Discrimination 'Fix' to 'Religious Freedom' Law

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has signed into law a measure preventing the state's new "religious freedom" law from being used to discriminate against LGBT individuals.

Here's Pence's statement in full:

PenceThe freedom of religion for every Hoosier is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States and in the Indiana Constitution, which reads, ‘No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.’ For generations, these protections have served as a bulwark of religious liberty for Hoosiers and remain a foundation of religious liberty in the State of Indiana, and that will not change.

“Last week the Indiana General Assembly passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act raising the judicial standard that would be used when government action intrudes upon the religious liberty of Hoosiers, and I was pleased to sign it.

“Over the past week this law has become a subject of great misunderstanding and controversy across our state and nation. However we got here, we are where we are, and it is important that our state take action to address the concerns that have been raised and move forward.

“Last weekend I called upon the Indiana General Assembly to clarify that this new judicial standard would not create a license to discriminate or to deny services to any individual as its critics have alleged. I am grateful for the efforts of legislators, business and other community leaders who came together to forge this clarifying language in the law.

“Hoosiers deserve to know, that even with this legislation, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act enhances protections for every church, non-profit religious organization or society, religious school, rabbi, priest, preacher, minister or pastor in the review of government action where their religious liberty is infringed. The law also enhances protection in religious liberty cases for groups of individuals and businesses in conscience decisions that do not involve provision of goods and services, employment and housing.

“In the midst of this furious debate, I have prayed earnestly for wisdom and compassion, and I have felt the prayers of people across this state and across this nation. For that I will be forever grateful.

“There will be some who think this legislation goes too far and some who think it does not go far enough, but as governor I must always put the interest of our state first and ask myself every day, ‘What is best for Indiana?’ I believe resolving this controversy and making clear that every person feels welcome and respected in our state is best for Indiana.

“Our state is rightly celebrated for our pro-business environment, and we enjoy an international reputation for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance and kindness of our people. Hoosier hospitality is not a slogan; it is our way of life. Now that this is behind us, let’s move forward together with a renewed commitment to the civility and respect that make this state great.”

It remains completely legal to discriminate against an individual based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in Indiana, however. 

UPDATE: HRC reacts via graphic


Indiana House Passes Amended 'Religious Freedom' Bill, Gov. Pence's Signature Remains Uncertain


By a vote of 66-30, the Indiana House has voted to amend the state's "religious freedom" law to explicitly prevent it from being used to discriminate against LGBT individuals.

The bill now heads to Gov. Mike Pence, who has yet to state his position on the revision.

The Indianapolis Star reports:

What appeared to be a group effort Thursday morning to fix Indiana's divisive "religious freedom" law dissolved into a Republican power play as the GOP kicked out Democrat committee members before taking a vote on the changes.

As of 1 p.m., Democrats were meeting privately to decide whether to sign off on the clarifying measure, which they said doesn't go far enough to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.

But by 2:30 p.m., Republicans had removed the Democrat committee members, so they could move the bill without Democrat support to the full House and Senate for a final vote today.

Democrats said the changes didn't go far enough. They wanted a repeal of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or full civil rights protections for gays and lesbians.

Responding to the proposal's passage in the state Senate earlier today, numerous LGBT groups echoed similar concerns that the proposal still leaves the door wide open for anti-LGBT discrimination in the Hoosier State. Angie's List, which last week announced it would pull a $40 million campus expansion out of Indianapolis over #RFRA, has already rejected the so-called "fix," calling it "insufficient."

On Tuesday, Pence told Sean Hannity on his radio show that the law "doesn't need to be fixed." Listen to that audio, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Indiana House Passes Amended 'Religious Freedom' Bill, Gov. Pence's Signature Remains Uncertain" »

Angie's List Rejects 'Insufficient' Non-Discrimination Addition to Indiana's 'Religious Freedom' Law

Angie's list

Angie's List has become the first major company to reject today's so-called "fix" to Indiana's discriminatory "religious freedom" law, Indianapolis Star reports:

Oesterle"Our position is that this 'fix' is insufficient," Angie's CEO Bill Oesterle said in a statement Thursday morning. "There was no repeal of RFRA and no end to discrimination of homosexuals in Indiana."

The legislative proposal, announced Thursday morning, would make sexual orientation and gender identity explicitly protected against discrimination in new law. But the proposal otherwise keeps intact the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence.

Oesterle said that, even with the proposed change, "Employers in most of the state of Indiana can fire a person simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning. That's just not right and that's the real issue here. Our employees deserve to live, work and travel with open accommodations in any part of the state."

The Indianapolis-based company has already canceled a $40 million headquarters expansion due to RFRA.

Indiana Republicans Add Half-Assed Non-Discrimination Language to Revised 'Religious Freedom' Law: VIDEO


Indiana Republican leaders have announced an addition to the state's new "religious freedom" law that they say will prevent it from being used to discriminate against LGBT individuals.

The Indianapolis Star reports:

Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, and House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis said at a press conference at the Statehouse that leaders will present the proposal to lawmakers at 9:30 a.m. after speaking with corporate and civic leadership this week.

"Hoosier hospitality had to be restored," Bosma said.

The leaders referenced the intense backlash that rained down on Indiana after Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill last week.

"It was never intended to discriminate against anyone," Long said. "That perception led to the national protests we've seen."

Bosma said he recently had a sit down with openly gay Olympian Greg Louganis and apologized "not for actions taken, but for messages receive." Bosma and co. are apparently still sticking to the fictitious talking point that they had no idea the bill was being driven through the legislature by anti-LGBT animus. 

Watch an RTV6 report on today's press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

The IndyStar correctly notes that the new proposal "doesn't go as far as establishing gays and lesbians as a protected class of citizens statewide or repealing the law outright, both things that Republican leaders have said they could not support." This means that, as before, it remains 100% legal in many parts of the state to fire, harass, and discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Full repeal or full protections - that's the only way you're going to quell this backlash in Indiana. Pence and the rest of the state GOP leaders need to wake the hell up

UPDATE: Lamba Legal reacts

This bill reduces the threat but is far less than this situation requires. It recognizes there are problems, but does not fix it as LGBT Hoosiers and others urgently need. Now that there's broad public understanding that gay and transgender people in much of Indiana are terribly vulnerable to arbitrary discrimination by businesses, refusal of housing, and being fired just for being who they are--and even Gov. Pence has agreed that that is wrong—that unacceptable situation requires a full solution. We've provided multiple options of straightforward bill language. This is not a complicated or novel task. Many states have done it with only positive results economically and socially. The time is now. America is watching.

Indiana's RFRA is an ill-conceived law that invites religiously motivated refusals to comply with laws that protect everyone. The state’s elected leadership today has taken one step to reduce these refusal problems by amending the RFRA to ensure compliance with civil rights laws. Now they need to complete the fix by actually providing those basic protections that LGBT people need to be equal and safe in the Hoosier State, and by further amending RFRA to prevent it from being used to excuse any harm to other people.

Continue reading "Indiana Republicans Add Half-Assed Non-Discrimination Language to Revised 'Religious Freedom' Law: VIDEO" »

Rachel Maddow Tackles Indiana's Anti-Gay Bill and Pence's Very Tough Week: VIDEO


Rachel Maddow looks at the Terri Schiavo case ten years ago, segueing halfway through the segment to Mike Pence and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (aka the anti-gay "religious liberty" law).

Maddow notes all of the potential 2016 GOP candidates are lining up behind Pence — Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush. Even Reince Preibus.

"It is a clear as day reminder of how conservative politics works in this country — at a very different level from public opinion....In the Terri Schiavo case 10 years ago and the Indiana legalize discrimination case today the rest of the country may have a very distinct revulsion for what is going on, for what politicians are doing...but inside the conservative movement they are listening to different voices, they are hearing different people, and if enough of them are in power, they get their way, as the country watches, slack-jawed and shocked, and they don't care."

LobiancoMaddow is joined by Tom Lobianco of the Indianapolis Star tfor a very insightful interview about the new law and if the paper's editorial position of "FIX THIS NOW" is going to be met.

Lobianco says the main drama right now os between the staunch social conservatives and moderate Republicans about how to change the bill. "It sounds like there might be a preamble that talks about what the law is supposed to do," LoBianco says. But moderates want more specifics in the bill itself.

Lobianco says public reaction was completely unanticipated and the bill was a "consolation prize" to the social conservatives that lost last year.

Watch the great segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Tackles Indiana's Anti-Gay Bill and Pence's Very Tough Week: VIDEO" »


Towleroad - Blogged