Indiana Deserves Religious Liberty Too.
We’re not the first to say it. But here’s the statement I released earlier today:
Governor Malloy is wrong to pit the State of Connecticut against religious liberty by banning travel to Indiana because of its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). He is wrong because RFRAs have been in effect on the federal and state levels for over 20 years and have not led to discrimination. But most of all, he is wrong because Connecticut’s own RFRA, passed in 1993, provides even greater protection of religious liberty than the Indiana law Gov. Malloy opposes.
Family Institute of Connecticut urges Gov. Malloy to familiarize himself with the religious freedom laws of our own state instead of attacking another state for protecting that same freedom.
Others are arguing that Indiana’s law goes beyond previous RFRAs because it includes language that acknowledges the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby that small business owners do not give up their religious freedom by owning a business. That’s ridiculous. It’s natural that the first post-Hobby Lobby RFRA would include such language. That doesn’t mean the law is different than other RFRAs. Do the critics think that pre-Hobby Lobby RFRAs, whether federal or state statute, can somehow be implemented as if the Supreme Court ruled the other way?
RFRAs were overwhelmingly passed by bipartisan majorities in the 1990’s. We understand that the current controversy over them is due to LGBT issues and we understand that anything having to do with LGBT issues excites many politicians of the Left, who see an easy score with their base, and terrifies many politicians of the Right, some of whom now strangely subscribe to the Marxist idea that politics is nothing more than economic management.
But there is another matter that is, yes, sacred, even in, yes, liberal Connecticut. It’s religious liberty. And this is where the Governor has goofed.
Connecticut passed one of the nation’s strongest RFRAs in 1993–under Lowell Weicker, no less–because our state, even at this late date, has always highly prized religious liberty. That is why Connecticut won some of the nation’s biggest post-gay marriage victories for religious liberty in the year after our State Supreme Court redefined marriage. It is why FIC did so much to educate the public about the threat of the HHS Mandate for the two years before the Supreme Court said we were right.
We will continue to protect religious liberty in Connecticut and encourage others, including the Governor, to consider the great benefit religious freedom has served Connecticut and with God’s grace, will continue to serve all of our citizenry.