Monday, February 15, 2016

UPDATED::BREAKING: Indiana Senate panel kills religious objections proposal – LGBTQ Nation

UPDATE::  So, I am really confused now!  For clarification, SB 344 appears to be the bill that went down in flames ending the gay rights debate in the Indiana General Assembly for the year.
Neither side had been pleased with Senate Bill 344. But Tuesday, religious conservatives claimed a victory while LGBT advocates decried the halt to the debate.

“Rather than further divide Hoosiers and threaten religious freedom, the Indiana Senate wisely chose to put this matter aside and deal with more important and necessary issues,” said Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, in a statement.

He touted the death of the legislation as “good news” for religious freedom.

But Freedom Indiana, a group pushing for LGBT rights, framed it as “shameful.”

“We can’t let lawmakers think for one second that this one failed attempt at a short-sighted bill will make this problem, or our movement, magically disappear,” Freedom Indiana campaign manager Chris Paulsen wrote in an email to supporters.

Indiana Competes, a coalition of businesses advocating for LGBT rights legislation, criticized lawmakers for stopping the debate.

"Failure to continue working toward a remedy casts doubt on the sincerity of the Senate’s effort," initiative manager Peter Hanscom said in a statement.
 Why Indiana lawmakers killed the gay rights debate for this year
At the time of this writing, it is unclear which bills are being discussed in either article.  Currently, there is SB-100, which according to ThinkProgress,"does add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s nondiscrimination laws as it claims to. However, it expends far more words to limit the extent of those protections, making them all but worthless to most plaintiffs."  And SB-66, "[t]he “Super RFRA” undermines critical protections against discrimination. If this bill becomes law, people would be allowed to use religious beliefs as an excuse to harm others. A landlord could claim their religion requires them to deny housing to an unmarried mother. Or a business owner may refuse service to a same-sex couple, citing freedom of religion.

Both bills where being discussed in the Indiana legislature and it appears that one has fallen to defeat:
An Indiana Senate committee has killed a bill that would have thrown out the state’s contentious religious objections law and replaced it with more robust protections for the rights of worship, speech and bearing arms.

State Sen. Mike Young, an Indianapolis Republican, said Wednesday that critics who “demagogue” and “fear monger” had mischaracterized his proposal.

BREAKING: Indiana Senate panel kills religious objections proposal – LGBTQ Nation
While the other may still be in discussion,
A Washington state florist who became a national figure for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding is scheduled to testify in Indiana against two LGBT rights bills that will be taken up by a state Senate committee.

Barronelle Stutzman, who was at the center of storm over gay rights for refusing the service, will speak Wednesday against the measures before the Indiana Senate Rules Committee. She says people should not be forced to participate in events that conflict with their beliefs.

Indiana legislative proposals: Washington florist to testify against LGBTQ protection bills
See also::  Indiana Senate leader says LGB rights bill to be called for a vote

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