States map 2015 for blog Written by Don Byrd

Indiana became the 20th state to enact a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) law, and the first this year among many considering similar proposals, when Governor Mike Pence signed the law yesterday morning in a private ceremony. If you have been following my State RFRA Tracker (and really, how could you not?), you know that these state bills are modeled after the federal RFRA law, but often differ from that carefully crafted legislation in significant ways.

The Indiana bill was amended a handful of times, with many more amendments defeated by the legislature. You can read the final version of the bill here.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, the effort to pass a RFRA bill has taken a very different turn. A successful amendment adding anti-discrimination language to the provision seems to have prompted the House Judiciary Committee to table the bill.

The Macon Telegraph reports:

Supporters of the bill said the change swallows the legal protection it is intended to provide for people acting on their religious beliefs.

Opponents of the measure from Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, have pushed for anti-discrimination language to ensure the bill could not be used as legal cover for such treatment of gays and transgender people.

“I take at face value the statements of the proponents that they do not intend discrimination with this bill,” [Rep. Mike] Jacobs said. “I also believe if that’s the case we as the General Assembly should state that expressly in the bill.”

To check on the status of other RFRA proposals around the country, bookmark and regularly visit the State RFRA Bill Tracker and follow me on Twitter – @BJCblog.