Religious freedom bill passes through Senate

USI Shield Staff

The Indiana Senate voted 40-10 Tuesday to approve a religious freedom bill that some say legalizes discrimination.

Only Republicans supported the measure, including all of northeast Indiana’s senators.

The law says a state or local government action cannot substantially burden a person’s right to the exercise of religion.

However, a judge would still have to determine that the action was essential to a compelling government interest and it was achieved in the least restrictive way.

Some believe the law could be used to discriminate against Hoosiers – especially gays and lesbians who aren’t protected by state anti-discrimination laws.

A similar federal law has been in place since 1993 that doesn’t apply to individual states.

The bill must now pass through the Indiana House of Representatives before it becomes law.