Indiana Lawmakers Move to Clarify Religious-Objections Law

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Move comes following criticism from opponents who fear discrimination against gay people.

As corporations, public officials and even a rock band ratcheted up pressure on Indiana over its days-old religious-objections law, state lawmakers on Monday said they would try to find a way to clarify that the measure wouldn’t allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Engine maker Cummins Inc., based in Columbus, Ind., along with Dow AgroSciences LLC and Roche Diagnostics USA, both based in Indianapolis, said they wrote Republican Gov. Mike Pence and state lawmakers encouraging them to make changes to the law. Rock band Wilco said it was canceling a May concert in Indiana. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy put a stop to state-funded travel to Indiana, including those affiliated with the University of Connecticut.

The new law sets a legal framework for people or companies to challenge government rules that hamper their practice of religion. Opponents, and even some supporters, of the measure say it could allow for businesses, including wedding-service providers, to seek court protection not to provide services to gays and lesbians.

State lawmakers in Indianapolis, which is preparing for this weekend’s NCAA Final Four basketball tournament, are discussing crafting a bill to clarify the law that could come later this week.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said the bill wouldn’t allow discrimination, and added the governor’s refusal to clarify that helped fuel the controversy. Mr. Bosma said lawmakers plan to make that “crystal clear” in the new bill they are drafting.

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