Indiana Jewish Organizations Join Criticism of Religious Freedom Restoration Act
EDITOR’S NOTE: This Jewish News Service dispatch is misleading and revealing on several levels: 1) It deliberately lies when it calls the ability of businesses and individuals under the new law to refuse to associate with homosexuals a “loophole.” That is not a loophole — that is the clear and obvious intent of the law, though it is a kind of last-gasp expression of what is left of traditional White America. 2) This dispatch makes clear who it is that has criminalized freedom of association in this country: the Jewish power structure.
MEMBERS OF the Jewish community in Indiana reacted to the state’s ratification of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). (ILLUSTRATION: Michael Steinberg of the Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana)
The law, which was signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence last Thursday after passing in the Republican-controlled state legislature, states that a “government entity” cannot “substantially burden” what the law describes as “a person’s exercise of religion.” However, the law has concerned many due to a perceived loophole that could allow businesses to discriminate against members of the LGBT community in the state.
“I think the law is extremely backwards. It’s like we are regressing as a society,” Michael Steinberg, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana, told The Jerusalem Post.
The Indianapolis chapter of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) also expressed opposition, stating that the “statute will ultimately threaten religious freedom more than protect it, particularly minority communities such as ours…As members of a religious minority who have faced discrimination because of our religious practices, we deeply regret the inherent injustice this law potentially creates.”
In response to the criticism, Indiana lawmakers have unveiled a fix to the law that would prohibit businesses from using the law as a defense in court if they refused services to any customers based on “race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service,” reported CNN. The state’s House and Senate are set to vote on the legislative fix Thursday, and then send it to the governor for immediate signing.
* * *
Source: Jewish News Service