Governor Pence signs 'religious freedom' bill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Governor Pence signs 'religious freedom' bill

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Governor Mike Pence signed the bill on Thursday in a private ceremony surrounded by supporters of the bill. Governor Mike Pence signed the bill on Thursday in a private ceremony surrounded by supporters of the bill.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WDRB) -- A new law on the books in Indiana is already causing controversy across the state.

Governor Mike Pence signed the bill on Thursday and there's already a lot of backlash, mainly from people who say it is discriminatory.

"I mean, on a local level, we're not going to get a call on anything like that from the governor," said Dennis Julius, southern Indiana business owner.

Jeffersonville City Councilman and business owner Dennis Julius admits Governor Pence did not ask for his opinion on the so called religious freedom bill, but here's what his answer would have been.

"I would vote no -- if that were me, Julius said. "I look at it as kind of a discrimination bill."

Thursday morning, Indiana governor Mike Pence signed the controversial bill into law behind closed doors.

"Today, I signed the religious freedom restoration act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith," Gov. Pence said.

Opponents say the new law would allow businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of "religious freedom" but governor Pence says that's not the intention. 

"Let me be very clear on this point. This bill is not about discrimination. If I thought it was about discrimination, I would have vetoed it," explained Governor Pence.

The backlash has been quick and widespread across Indiana.

"We are disappointed that he has chosen to go ahead and sign the bill in spite of the opposition both from the religious community, the mayor of Indianapolis and the business community around the state," said Todd Adams, Vice President of The Christian Church Disciples of Christ.

Adams flat out calls the new law unfair.

"Bigotry and hatred wrapped in the cloth of religious freedom is still bigotry and hatred," he said.

Adams said his organization's 2017 general assembly may now consider looking for another convention city, taking its 6,000 delegates

"We have our attorneys reviewing those contracts and we will making the decisions over the coming weeks, we have to consult with our board about final decisions regarding whether we will stay in Indianapolis in 2017 or not," said Adams.

Adams says his organization has already heard from several cities, including Louisville, all interested in hosting the 2017 general assembly.

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