The Indianapolis Star published a front page editorial on Tuesday morning criticizing the state’s new religious freedom law and urging state lawmakers to change the legislation to ensure that it does not permit discrimination against gays and lesbians.
“We are at a critical moment in Indiana’s history,” the editorial begins. “And much is at stake.”
“Our image. Our reputation as a state that embraces people of diverse backgrounds and makes them feel welcome. And our efforts over many years to retool our economy, to attract talented workers and thriving businesses, and to improve the quality of life for millions of Hoosiers,” the editorial continues. “All of this is at risk because of a new law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that no matter its original intent already has done enormous harm to our state and potentially our economic future.”
The editorial urges Indiana leaders to move quickly in fixing the law and to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“The consequences will only get worse if our state leaders delay in fixing the deep mess created,” the editorial says. “Only bold action — action that sends an unmistakable message to the world that our state will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens — will be enough to reverse the damage.”
The editorial argues that since the religious freedom bill does have some support in the state, the legislature should not repeal the bill. Instead, the legislature should simply make sure that gays and lesbians are protected.
“We urge Gov. Pence and lawmakers to stop clinging to arguments about whether RFRA really does what critics fear; to stop clinging to ideology or personal preferences; to focus instead on fixing this,” the editorial says. “Governor, Indiana is in a state of crisis. It is worse than you seem to understand.”
The Indianapolis Star ran the editorial on the front page with an image that reads, “FIX THIS NOW.”