Last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the first of its kind for the state. Since that time, Indiana has faced an avalanche of criticism, from celebrities to students and everyone in between. Like many Americans, they fear that the new law essentially makes discrimination-- particularly against the LGBT community-- not just socially acceptable, but completely legal.
Now, it seems Governor Pence is trying to right what most people feel is a really, really big wrong for America. But is it enough?
"In the midst of this furious debate, I have prayed earnestly for wisdom and compassion, and I have felt the prayers of people across this state and across this nation. For that I will be forever grateful," Pence said today (Apr. 2) in a statement.
"There will be some who think this legislation goes too far and some who think it does not go far enough, but as governor I must always put the interest of our state first and ask myself every day, 'What is best for Indiana?'"
"I believe resolving this controversy and making clear that every person feels welcome and respected in our state is best for Indiana," he explained.
New changes to the law, approved by the GOP majority House and Senate, attempt to 'fix' the issue of discrimination. Per these changes, businesses are not allowed to use the law as a defense against offering services to anyone based on "race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service."
"What was intended as a message of inclusion-- inclusion of all religious beliefs-- was interpreted as a message of exclusion," said House Speaker Brian Bosma.
Despite Gov. Pence approving the fix on Thursday evening, it's clear that the debate will continue to rage in Indiana. Conservative groups continue to express outrage (are you shocked?), with lobbyist Eric Miller expressing his disgust that "Christian bakers, florists and photographers would now be forced by the government to participate in a homosexual wedding or else they would be punished by the government!"
What do you think? Is this proposed 'fix' a pointless attempt at quelling the fire? Or is it a step in the right direction for Indiana?