By Branden Swartz | Assignments Editor
The Indiana State Legislature recently passed a law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which expands on the rights of people and organizations to use religious freedom as a defense. While not inherently a bad thing, many believe that this law will allow for widespread discrimination, mainly focusing on the LGBTQ+ communities.
The LGBTQ+ community in Indiana is already in an unstable position, because they are not a protected community in Indiana. There currently is no law in Indiana that prevents discrimination from occurring on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation.
Though Indiana’s RFRA has been revised, Indiana’s LGBTQ+ community is still not protected. Many local ordinances still allow for discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
This event serves to point out how important anti-discrimination clauses are across the nation, not just in Indiana. Several states, such as Arkansas have similar laws that allow for discrimination.
Backlash was immediate, harsh and well deserved. Businesses, institutions and individuals spoke out in defiance of this law. However, attention should be focused on a national level.
It has been made clear that similar laws will continue to be passed until something more permanent is put in place. People will continue to try and discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community until they have protection on a federal level. Until a more permanent solution is found, however, focusing on smaller, more local issues is the best way to raise awareness.