The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of Indiana is a controversy steeped in partisan spin tactics. The media has done its best to sensationalize a story and again try to divide the country into Democrat and Republican.
But what did the Indiana Republicans do?
They did what all good politicians do and they reacted to public opinion and changed the bill.
At the onset of this controversy it was questionable whether or not the law was discriminatory to begin with. It’s fair to mention that the original Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into law by Bill Clinton and that the bill never originally contained any language relating to sexual orientation or identity.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence originally seemed dumbfounded by the outrage surrounding the bill. What the Republicans did, which they have always been criticized for, was not consider the long-reaching potential circumstances their actions would have upon people that don’t belong to their base.
Finally, Republicans agreed to alter the bill in order to shift popular opinion. They added a section to the bill in which it states that no portion of the bill may allow anyone to deny services to a person based upon race, sexual orientation or a whole host of other discrimination-based criteria.
Angie’s List says that this isn’t enough, but I don’t see why not. What we are really looking at here is a bill created by a conservative group of legislators that didn’t take into account the impact of a broadly-worded bill regarding religious freedom.
The Republicans are in a tight spot.
In 2016, they know they have to appeal to a wider audience, which includes minorities, homosexuals and the non-religious in order to have any chance at becoming the “in party.”
Times are changing and so is the Republican Party. I think this amendment to its bill is a baby-step in the right direction.