Indiana lawmakers OK changes to religious freedom law; now bars anti-LGBT discrimination

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for a rally against legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence that opponents say could sanction discrimination against gay people.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for a rally against legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence that opponents say could sanction discrimination against gay people. Rick Callahan, AP

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for a rally against legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence that opponents say could sanction discrimination against gay people.Rick Callahan, AP

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for a rally against legislation that opponents say woul sanction discrimination against gay people. Lawmakers approved a revised bill on Thursday adding language barring discrimination against LGBT individuals.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers have approved changes to a new religious objections law to address charges that it could allow discrimination against lesbians and gays.

The amendment to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act approved Thursday by both chambers in the Indiana legislature prohibits service providers from using the law as a legal defense for refusing to provide services, goods, facilities or accommodations.

It also bars discrimination based on factors that include race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or United States military service.

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Supporters say the changes make it clear that the law cannot be used to discriminate. Some opponents say the bill doesn’t go far enough, while others warn it could undermine religious liberties.

The bill now goes to Republican Gov. Mike Pence. He has not indicated whether he will sign it.

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