Indiana Republicans are set to announce an agreement Thursday that alters Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Reformation Act to ensure that it does not discriminate against LGBT people, according to the Indianapolis Star. The proposed change grants new protections for LGBT customers, employees and tenants and is set for an early-morning rollout, according to the report.
The "religious freedom" law, known as SB 101, has been subject to great criticism. The law says individuals and business owners don’t have to comply with state laws that conflict with their religious view. Critics have said this would open the door to discrimination against LBGT people. A small-town Indiana pizza shop said Wednesday it would—if approached—deny service to gay weddings under the law.
The Indianapolis Star reported that Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long and Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma discussed the deal Wednesday night with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s chief of staff. Pence still needs to review the plan before making a decision.
"We feel there is a strong consensus," Long said Wednesday night to the Indianapolis Star. "We feel good about it. We did a lot of hard work to bring the groups together to find the comfort level everyone feels does the job of truly saying this does not discriminate against anyone."
The change will go farther than an initial proposal for an added "preamble" and, if the current change stands, would mark the first protection against discrimination for LBGT people in state law. The change does not allow a “provider,” including a business or individual, to refuse or offer services, facilities, goods or public accommodation to any member of the public based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Language was also added to protect housing and employment.
After its passage last week, Indiana's law spurred major companies to boycott the state, including Angie’s List, which canceled $40 million expansion plans to its headquarters. Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an opinion piece critical of the law, and the NCAA expressed concern after the bill was passed.