An anti-gay bill drafted in response to same-sex marriage minutes ago passed the Indiana House, and will head to the governor's desk. Will he sign or veto it?
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Last week an Indiana House committee passed an anti-gay, pro-discrimination bill designed to allow anyone – including businesses – to discriminate against anyone else, merely by citing their sincerely held religious beliefs. The bill, SB-101, in theory could allow an emergency medical technician (EMT), nurse, doctor, or other medical professional to refuse to treat an LGBT person. And it could allow any business owner, say, a bake shop or photographer, to refuse to work on a same-sex wedding.
The bill passed 63-31.
GOP Gov. Mike Pence has already stated he will sign the bill if it gets to his desk.
The bill's language is so broad that it could allow any person whose religious beliefs mandate the subordination of women to refuse to serve them in a restaurant, in a DMV, or at a local store.
Yes!! "There is a threat to religion in this state, and this bill is part of it!" #SB101— GetEQUAL (@GetEQUAL) March 23, 2015
"It basically says to a group of people that you're second-rate, you don't matter, and I don't have to serve you," lamented Democratic Rep. Scott Pelath during today's debate. He also warned that the legislation "does nothing but create paychecks for lawyers."
Democratic Rep. Ed Delaney reminded his colleagues that his "prophet had dinner with hookers," and asked if by doing so, was he "blessing" them.
"This bill is intended to increase conflict" Delaney warned.
Republican State Rep. Bruce Borders explained to his colleagues why he supports the bill. "Our businesses can be just as much a church as our church is."
Democratic Rep. Linda Lawson warned the bill will end up in court, "and you know it will."
"We're going to cost our state a lot of money," she also warned, adding, "we're meddling with lives."
Some tweets from the debate:
So Rep. Washburne wants men to be able to beat women if that is their religious belief? #SB101— L Cohen MSW (@LRCIndy_MSW) March 23, 2015
The website VetoSB101 has been created to urge Gov. Pence to veto the dangerous legislation.
Image via Twitter