Peterson: RFRA Fix Addresses 'Toxic' IssuePosted: Updated:
Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) Vice President and former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson says revisions to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are a positive step forward in an "enormously important issue." He says the controversy over the law presents major challenges for companies looking to recruit and retain top talent, both in and out of the LGBT community. Governor Mike Pence signed the revisions into law Thursday afternoon. In an interview to air this weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television, Peterson said RFRA has had an "enormous impact" on companies throughout Indiana.
April 2, 2015
"The freedom of religion for every Hoosier is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States and in the Indiana Constitution, which reads, 'No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.' For generations, these protections have served as a bulwark of religious liberty for Hoosiers and remain a foundation of religious liberty in the State of Indiana, and that will not change.
"Last week the Indiana General Assembly passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act raising the judicial standard that would be used when government action intrudes upon the religious liberty of Hoosiers, and I was pleased to sign it.
"Over the past week this law has become a subject of great misunderstanding and controversy across our state and nation. However we got here, we are where we are, and it is important that our state take action to address the concerns that have been raised and move forward.
"Last weekend I called upon the Indiana General Assembly to clarify that this new judicial standard would not create a license to discriminate or to deny services to any individual as its critics have alleged. I am grateful for the efforts of legislators, business and other community leaders who came together to forge this clarifying language in the law.
"Hoosiers deserve to know, that even with this legislation, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act enhances protections for every church, non-profit religious organization or society, religious school, rabbi, priest, preacher, minister or pastor in the review of government action where their religious liberty is infringed. The law also enhances protection in religious liberty cases for groups of individuals and businesses in conscience decisions that do not involve provision of goods and services, employment and housing.
"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.
"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.
"Our state is rightly celebrated for our pro-business environment, and we enjoy an international reputation for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance and kindness of our people. Hoosier hospitality is not a slogan; it is our way of life. Now that this is behind us, let’s move forward together with a renewed commitment to the civility and respect that make this state great."
Source: Office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence
April 3, 2015
Indianapolis, Inc. -- Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger issued the following statement following the passage of Senate Bill 50 by the Indiana General Assembly:
"Cummins believes that Senate Bill 50 addresses key concerns with Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). It’s an important first step.
SB50 makes it clear that RFRA does not allow individuals or businesses to use the law to justify discrimination, including discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, SB50 extends these protective provisions to services, facilities, public accommodations, as well as housing and employment. This revision makes the language consistent with many Human Rights Ordinances throughout Indiana.
But we can do better. The intense publicity surrounding the passage of RFRA has sparked a necessary conversation on the need for strong anti-discrimination laws both nationally and here in Indiana.
Cummins will advocate for a statewide non-discrimination statute to ensure that everyone - no matter their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or U.S. military service - feels welcome in Indiana."
About Cummins Inc.
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins currently employs approximately 54,600 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 7,200 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.65 billion on sales of $19.2 billion in 2014. Press releases can be found on the Web at www.cummins.com. Follow Cummins on Twitter at www.twittter.com/cummins and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/cummininc.
Source: Cummins Inc.
April 2, 2015
Joint Statement from Indianapolis City-County Council President Maggie A. Lewis and Vice-President John Barth Regarding SEA 101 Amendment
"We appreciate that the Indiana General Assembly took action today to amend SEA 101, also referred to as RFRA. It is especially important that the language appears to ensure that the Indianapolis Human Rights Ordinance is protected. We are thankful for the leadership of key members of the Indianapolis business community who advocated for the change. However, we do not believe that today’s “fix” goes far enough. We fully stand by Proposal 120, passed 22-4 on Monday, in which the Council encourages the Indiana General Assembly to go further and to amend the Civil Rights section of the Indiana Code to include sexual orientation and gender identity as quickly as possible to protect LGBT Hoosiers. It is long past time that the General Assembly joined the Indianapolis City/County Council in enacting a comprehensive nondiscrimination law."
Source: Indianapolis City-County Council
April 2, 2015
Statement from Mayor Ballard Regarding Proposed RFRA Legislative Fix:
“I appreciate both houses of the Indiana General Assembly taking this important first step. The proposed new language moves us in the right direction, and I would like to see it passed and signed into law by the end of the day. As discussions on this legislative fix progressed, the verbiage grew stronger, offering greater measures of protection for all Hoosiers. For the first time in Indiana at the state level, employment and housing protections are being proposed based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a positive step and a more accurate representation of the Hoosier Hospitality that defines Indianapolis and Indiana.”
Source: Office of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard
April 2, 2015
Statement from Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle
"Our position is that this 'fix' is insufficient. There was no repeal of RFRA and no end to discrimination of homosexuals in Indiana. Employers in most of the state of Indiana can fire a person simply for being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning. That’s just not right and that’s the real issue here. Our employees d