Indiana, Arkansas Governors Sign 'Religious Freedom' Clarifications into Law
Opponents said laws allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT community.
By BEN CANDEA
April 2, 2015, 11:26 PM
• 3 min read
-- Governors in Indiana and Arkansas today signed bills clarifying their state's controversial "religious freedom" laws, which critics said gave business owners a legal defense to discriminate against members of the LGBT community.
A "fix" to Indiana's law was proposed this morning before passing through the legislature and making its way to Gov. Mike Pence. The update, as released by Indiana GOP lawmakers earlier in the day, states that the religious freedom law does not allow any business to deny service to any customer, including on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Pence said in a statement that “resolving this controversy, making clear that every person feels welcome and respected in our state is best for Indiana."
"Over the past week, this law has become a subject of great misunderstanding and controversy across our state and nation," the governor said. "However we got here, we are where we are, and it is important that our state take action to address the concerns that have been raised and move forward."
In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a new version of a bill sent to him earlier this week, saying it recognizes that "we have a diverse workforce and a diverse culture." Hutchinson had said he wanted it revised to more closely mirror a 1993 federal law.
The Associated Press and ABC News' Chris Good contributed to this story.