Americas

Why 'RFRA' Is America's Latest Four-Letter Word

A once-popular religious freedom law is now seen as license to discriminate.
Why 'RFRA' Is America's Latest Four-Letter Word
Image: Danny Johnston / AP Images

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once warned that too much religious freedom would be “courting anarchy.”

This week, his prophecy came true—at least on the airwaves and in social media.

Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed in the wake of legal same-sex marriage for Hoosiers, caused widespread and angry debate. Critics say the Indiana law—and a pending religious liberty law in Arkansas—gives religious people a free pass to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Supporters like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence say the law is needed to protect believers who feel under siege.

In the wake of the controversy, governors in Connecticut, Washington, and New York banned state employees from traveling to Indiana, while Star Trek actor and Twitter celebrity George Takei organized a #BoycottIndiana campaign. Corporate giant Wal-Mart, headquartered in Arkansas, has asked that state’s governor to veto the bill on his desk.

Under ...

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