Last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which “prohibits a government entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion” unless the governmental entity can demonstrate a compelling governmental interest.
The LGBT community and its allies have condemned the law, saying it essentially legalizes discrimination. Apple CEO Tim Cook authored an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he said laws like this "rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear." Others, who defend the law, say that it simply gives business owners (i.e. florists, bakers, etc.) with strong religious beliefs the opportunity to say no if they feel that providing a service to a same-sex couple would infringe on their religious beliefs.
What do you think about this law? Should those with strong religious beliefs be allowed to refuse services to same-sex couples or does this law go too far? Are there other states in the U.S. with similar legislation? What does this mean for Indiana’s LGBT community?
John Eastman, professor of law and founding director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at Chapman University.
Jennifer Pizer, senior counsel, and law and policy project national director for Lambda Legal, a law firm that specializes in defending LGBT rights.