The senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty says that Indiana’s proposed “fix” to its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is “unnecessary” and would serve as “a green light for driving religious people out of business.”
“Our country has had over 20 years of experience with RFRAs and we know what they do: They provide crucial protections to religious minorities,” said Mark Rienzi during a press conference Thursday. “The key disagreement is over what should happen in a very small class of cases where individuals are asked to participate in a same-sex wedding in violation of their religious beliefs.”
As KTLA 5 reported Thursday, the Indiana RFRA “fix” would “prohibit businesses from using the law as a defense in court for refusing ‘to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing’ to any customers based on ‘race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.’”
Rienzi said that in the case of individuals and business owners who do not wish to serve same-sex couples because of their religious beliefs, there are two possibilities. “Our government can drive religious people out of business, fine them, and possibly even imprison them,” he said, “or our government can say that these religious people deserve a day in court, and that courts should carefully balance religious liberty with other competing values.”
Rienzi said that the original Indiana RFRA “would give people their day in court,” while the proposed “fix” would “be a green light for driving religious people out of business.”
“Our society should not settle this issue by punishing religious people before they even have their day in court,” he added.