States map 2015 for blog Written by Don Byrd

The firestorm surrounding Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has spurred state legislators to consider amending the law to address the concerns of protestors around the country.

The Washington Post reports:

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) said the legislature would act as soon as this week to “clarify” the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which grants individuals and businesses legal grounds to defend themselves against claims of discrimination. The fix, Bosma said, would make clear that the law does not allow people to discriminate against gays, as critics contend.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Star this morning features a front-page editorial calling on the Governor to “take bold action” for the sake of the state’s reputation:

Gov. Mike Pence and the General Assembly need to enact a state law to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, education and public accommodations on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Those protections and RFRA can co-exist. They do elsewhere.

Importantly, passage of a state human rights law would send a clear message that Indiana will not tolerate discrimination. It’s crucial for that message to be communicated widely.

Some other must-reads for understanding the actual content of Indiana’s RFRA:

Howard Friedman at Religion Clause analyzes the Indiana RFRA law in comparison with the federal RFRA, and in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.

Tobin Grant of Religion News Service offers a refreshingly thoughtful perspective on the RFRA controversy, which he attributes primarily to timing, on the heels of same-sex marriage legalization in the state.

Sarah Posner offers her take on how Indiana’s RFRA expands on the federal RFRA.

And as a reminder, in a column from earlier this month, the BJC’s Brent Walker explains why subtle changes in the language of the law can make all the difference

Check the State RFRA Bill Tracker for all the latest information about RFRA bills and amendments currently being considered across the country.