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Conservative Groups Oppose New RFRA Language

Brandon Smith
Indiana Public Broadcasting

Some of the staunchest supporters of Indiana’s religious freedom bill say the “clarification language”  crafted by Republican legislative leaders will destroy religious protections the controversial law created. The legislative fix comes after concerns the  measure would be used to discriminate against the LGBT community.

The bill known as RFRA allows people to use their religious beliefs as a legal defense against certain  government regulations. GOP lawmakers this week developed a follow-up bill that says RFRA can’t be  used to deny services, goods, housing, or employment to anyone based on sexual orientation or gender  identity. 

But Eric Miller says the backlash that prompted the follow up bill is unwarranted. Miller is the  executive director of Advance America, a powerful Indiana conservative group. He argues the outrage  over RFRA is the result of a coordinated misinformation campaign by people pushing a particular  agenda.

“Which is to get government recognition, government approval, adding to our civil rights laws  protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. That’s the endgame,” says Miller. 

In a statement, Indiana Right to Life says the legislative clarification will dismantle protections RFRA would have provided pro-life people and businesses from being forced to support abortion. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.