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Governors Sign Revised Religious Freedom Bills After Public Outrage

Governors Asa Hutchison of Arkansas and Mike Pence of Indiana both signed into law redrafted bills aimed at protecting the religious freedoms of business owners. Both states faced angry backlash over the proposed legislations, which were criticized for being homophobic and discriminating against the LGBT community.

An Indiana pizzeria has been the victim of a tongue-in-cheek online prank after they were the first business in the state to publicly vow that it will refuse service to gay customers under the proposed religious freedom law that has caused nationwide critique and boycotts. - Sputnik International
Indiana Anti-Gay Pizza Joint Becomes Target of Online Attacks
Indiana Governor Mike Pence - Sputnik International
Indiana Faces Backlash Over Law That Could Allow Businesses to Reject Gays
Hutchinson signed Senate Bill 975, after it passed the state’s House of Representatives in a 76-16 vote. Later Thursday Pence signed into law an amended bill written by that state’s legislature. 

Pence last week signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows business owners to refuse service if it is within their religious convictions to do so. The move was met with international outrage, including from corporations who said they would refuse to do business in Indiana. Arkansas’ bill was slammed on the same grounds before it made it to the governor’s desk.

The amendment to Indiana’s law specified that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not “authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”

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