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LGB Civil Rights Amendments Explained

Lawmakers are moving forward on a bill that claims to balance civil rights protections for lesbian, gay and bisexual Hoosiers with religious freedoms.

Four and half hours of testimony from lawmakers and citizens resulted in a vote of 7-5, passing SB344. The bill that passed is slightly different because of approved amendments.

Amendment #8

The original bill provides an exemption for adoption agencies, but only if they meet the definition of “religious or religious affiliated.”

This amendment provides an exemption for adoption services, adding an exemption for crisis pregnancy organizations, as long as their primary purpose is to “encourage the carrying of pregnancies to full term.” This amendment has been added to the bill as it moves to the Senate floor.

Amendment #11

This amendment removes the contents of SB344 and instead inserts SB2, a bill proposed by Democrats to add “four words and a comma” to the state’s existing civil rights law.

This amendment would add “sexual orientation, gender identity” to the law, which existed in SB2, and would also add “active duty status, veteran status.” As with all other protected classes in the existing law, these would not be subject to religious exemptions. The amendment failed.

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Amendment #12

This amendment repeals the Religious Freedom Restoration Act enacted during the last session and adds a new list of protections for the exercise of religious faith in Indiana. This amendment is very similar to SB66, which did not make it out of committee.

This amendment has been added to the bill as it moves to the Senate floor.

Amendment #15

The original bill provides an exemption for nonprofit schools and day care facilities or services, but only if they meet the definition of “religious or religious affiliated.”

This amendment extends that exemption to any nonprofit corporation or association, as long as their primary purpose is to offer religious-centered programs. This amendment has been added to the bill as it moves to the Senate floor.

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