Dispelling false claims about RFRA

Posted by: Jay Wood  | Monday, March 23, 2015

The South Bend Tribune published a story titled, “City’s Human Rights Ordinance at risk,” and I would like to take this opportunity to dispel some of the misinformation presented in this article.

As the House Sponsor of Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) provides religious protection for all Hoosiers, which is something our country was founded on. If enacted, Indiana would join 30 other states, including Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky, that have some form of religious protection, either in statute or judicial standard, not including law that passed at the federal level.

Much like these states and the federal government, this legislation does not encourage or provide a legal defense for discrimination; in fact, the opposite is true. All Senate Bill 101 does is establish a judicial standard of review, which will assist the courts to better resolve any matters that come forth surrounding this issue. In 22 years of this standard being applied at the federal or state level, discrimination has never materialized.

Unfortunately, this bill continues to be widely mischaracterized, and I encourage anyone passionate about this issue to read the bill for yourself and base your opinions around the facts, rather than misinformation.

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Rep. Wesco represents portions of Elkhart and St. Joseph counties.