Metro Weekly

Hillary Clinton denounces Indiana’s religious freedom law as discriminatory

Hillary Clinton - Credit: Canada 2020/flickr

Hillary Clinton – Credit: Canada 2020/flickr

Hillary Clinton condemned Thursday a new religious freedom law in Indiana that could allow discrimination against LGBT people.

Taking to Twitter hours after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, Clinton wrote that it was “sad” such legislation could become law in America today and people should not be discriminated against because of who they love.

Clinton’s statement marks the first time the former secretary of state and likely Democratic presidential candidate has weighed in on religious freedom legislation targeting LGBT people.

The Indiana House of Representatives approved the bill 63-31 on Monday and the Indiana Senate concurred with the House version of the bill with a 40-10 vote. The legislation is modeled on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and part of a larger backlash taking place in states across the nation. As marriage equality and LGBT nondiscrimination protections have spread, there has been a concerted effort to erode those gains. Advocates argue the new Indiana law will allow business owners to discriminate against LGBT people by citing their religious beliefs.

The condemnation of the Indiana bill stands in contrast to recent statements by expected Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. During a visit to the Georgia statehouse last week, the former Florida governor gave a veiled endorsement of a similar religious freedom bill being considered by Georgia lawmakers that advocates say would provide a license to discriminate.

“I don’t know about this law, but religious freedom is a serious issue and is increasingly so,” Bush said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “People that act on their conscience shouldn’t be discriminated against, for sure. There should be protections.” On whether businesses should be able to refuse services for same-sex weddings, Bush said, “People have a right to do that, just as we need to be respectful for people who are in long-term committed relationships.”

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Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's former political editor and White House correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @JustinCSnow.

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