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Hundreds rally at Indiana state capitol in opposition to anti‑LGBT religious freedom law

Some of the hundreds of people who gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015 to oppose the religious freedom legislation.
Some of the hundreds of people who gathered outside the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday, March 28, 2015 to oppose the religious freedom legislation. Rick Callahan, AP
Jackson Blanchard, 18, of Indianapolis, leads the crowd in a chant during the event. Hundreds of opponents of Indiana Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, gathered on the lawn of the Indiana State House to rally against that legislation Saturday, March 28, 2015.
Jackson Blanchard, 18, of Indianapolis, leads the crowd in a chant during the event. Hundreds of opponents of Indiana Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, gathered on the lawn of the Indiana State House to rally against that legislation Saturday, March 28, 2015. Doug McSchooler, AP

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The measure, which takes effect in July, prohibits state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of “person” includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

Angie’s List had sought an $18.5 million incentive package from Indianapolis’ City-County Council to add 1,000 jobs over five years.

But founder and CEO Bill Oseterle said in a statement Saturday that the expansion was on hold “until we fully understand the implications of the freedom restoration act on our employees.”

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Saturday’s crowd, for which police didn’t have an exact estimate, chanted “Pence must go!” several times and many people held signs like “I’m pretty sure God doesn’t hate anyone” and “No hate in our state.”

Zach Adamson, a Democrat on Indianapolis’ City-County Council, said to cheers that the law has nothing to do with religious freedom but everything to do with discrimination.

“This isn’t 1950 Alabama; it’s 2015 Indiana,” he told the crowd, adding that the law has brought embarrassment on the state.

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