March 25, 2015 at 10:35 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Indiana governor to sign religious freedom bill
Mike Pence, Indiana, Republican Party, gay news, Washington Blade

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on March 26, 2015, will sign into a law a controversial religious freedom bill (Photo public domain)

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday will sign into law a sweeping religious freedom bill that critics contend would allow business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian couples.

The Indianapolis Star reported the Republican governor will sign Senate Bill 101 into law during a private ceremony.

The Republican-controlled Indiana House of Representatives earlier this week approved the controversial measure by a 63-31 vote margin.

“The legislation, SB 101, is about respecting and reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact,” said Pence in a statement his office released on Monday after the vote. “I strongly support the legislation and applaud the members of the General Assembly for their work on this important issue. I look forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk.”

Freedom Indiana, a group that campaigned against SB 101, along with Lambda Legal and the National LGBTQ Task Force are among the organizations that have urged Pence not to sign the measure into law.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who is a Republican, on Wednesday said in a statement obtained by the Indianapolis Star that SB 101 sends the “wrong signal” for his city and Indiana as a whole. Gen Con, which is the world’s largest gaming convention, has threatened to pull its annual gathering out Indianapolis if Pence signs the measure into law.

The men’s finals of the NCAA Tournament will take place at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium on April 4-6. The annual National Football League Scouting Combine will take place in the Indiana capital next February.

Cyd Zeigler, Jr., co-founder of, an LGBT sports website, on Wednesday wrote the NCAA, the NFL and other groups should not hold their sporting events in the Hoosier State if Pence signs SB 101 into law.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Freunds, Fellow Hooßiers and Freidom Fighters:
    A Californicator just upped the ante putting a "Kill the Sodomites" measure forward. Are you really going to let the Left Coast of Sodomy and Gaymorrah show you up? If you think freedom is safe by just refusing service, you are wrong. They will sneak in anyway camouflaging themselves as real human beings who look exactly like your family, fellow church members and neighbors — geegolly, that's what they are for cry sakes!

    They will punish you for standing up for freedom, by refusing business with our Great State and our Great Race. Stand up for yourselves, Hoosiers!

    They're here; they're queer; and they're *already* marrying your boyfriends and your daddy! It is a fact that our Blessed Capital has more gays than Sodom Francisco — and don't even get me started on the dainty flower of Bloomington, home of our Blessed University, the best in the US and entire world! I went there once — and God have mercy on me, and us all — I [gasp] learned something! But, I repent and rebuke knowledge and the passage of time in Religion's name! [We did agree to call this "religion", right?]

    It's time to restore our great state to what God and our Theist Forefathers intended — just like Free and Christian Germany needed to be restored.

    "Freedom" of "Religion" for once, ℲR for all (real people only)!

  • The social conservative voter…….A Saint on Sunday and an Asshole Monday -Saturday. These people waste some much time on such non-important issues. If you don't like a abortion and your having a baby then don't get one. If you don't want to go to a same sex wedding don't be friends with gay people. However, you don't have the right to deny a people their rights as a citizen when it comes to taxes, family and estate planning, adoption and other financial matters. I do wish social conservatives cared about real issues that affect us all like income inequity and the environment. Still waiting for them to be "Recycling for Jesus" …….but instead they just want to be assholes about same sex marriage.

  • Well, seems like it's us or them so we need to get tough because war has been declared on all gay Americans. What will we do to retaliate?

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