The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) signed into law by Governor Mike Pence is hardly new legislation. It’s modeled on a federal law that was enacted in 1993. The public outcry Indiana’s new law has inspired is as misleading as it is misguided.
In 1993 then-Congressman Charles Schumer sponsored legislation to apply a higher standard of scrutiny to actions by the government that may impact religious practices. The companion bill was carried by the late Senator Edward Kennedy. These liberal leaders were part of a broad, bi-partisan coalition of legislators and leaders who supported the legislation which eventually passed the House of Representatives on a voice vote, and passed the Senate with a resounding 97 votes. To say this legislation was not controversial is an understatement.
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