FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2015
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)
"Contrary to the claims of opponents of this legislation, it is people of faith who are being discriminated against by powerful groups intent on forcing them to support controversial issues such as same-sex 'marriage,' or risk losing their livelihood and personal assets." — Brian Brown, NOM president —
Washington, D.C. — Dubbing the reaction to passage of Senate Bill 101, the Religious Liberty Restoration Act, "hysteria on Hoosierland," the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today defended the Indiana Legislature and Governor Mike Pence for supporting the effort to provide needed legal protections against governmental action aimed at people of faith who exercise their religious beliefs about marriage and other important social issues.
"It's outrageous how the gay rights lobby and their allies in Hollywood and the media are drumming up hysteria on Hoosierland, by grossly misrepresenting the Religious Liberty Restoration Act, falsely describing it as a 'license to discriminate'," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "I am certain that noted legal 'experts' like Miley Cyrus have not even read a single word of the legislation, taking their cue from pro-gay marriage groups who trot out tired talking points to claim 'discrimination' when the real victims of discrimination are the individuals and small businesses who have been punished for living their faith in the workplace and compelled against their will to participate in same-sex weddings. This legislation does not exempt any person from any claim of discrimination, all it does is give someone a defense they can raise in court if they are the target of governmental action seeking to compel them to participate in something that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs."
Senate Bill 101 does not apply to actions by individuals nor does it exempt anyone from claims of discrimination. The legislation applies to actions by governmental entities. The legislation simply allows someone whom the government seeks to compel to participate in an action that violates their deeply-held religious views the ability to raise a religious liberty defense for consideration in court. Such a defense, however, may be countered by a showing of the government that the compulsory action fulfills a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive means of achieving that result. This type of law has existed at the federal level for over twenty years, and is the law in many other states. There is no evidence that such a law has ever resulted in discrimination against same-sex couples.
"Contrary to the claims of opponents of this legislation, it is people of faith who are being discriminated against by powerful groups intent on forcing them to support controversial issues such as same-sex 'marriage,' or risk losing their livelihood and personal assets," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "Across the country whenever same-sex 'marriage' is imposed by courts, lawsuits and punishment soon follow for people of faith who cannot compromise their beliefs about the truth of marriage and do not wish to participate in a same-sex ceremony. Now state officials including Attorneys General are using the power of the state to shut down businesses and threaten their owners that they will take all their personal assets as punishment for refusing to go along with same-sex marriage. SB 101 in Indiana will at least give Hoosiers the opportunity to raise a defense in court to combat this kind of harassment and discrimination by governmental entities. We commend Governor Mike Pence and the lawmakers of Indiana who have acted to move this common-sense legislation," Brown said.
To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004.
Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).