A religious freedom bill signed into law by Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence Thursday is being characterized by major media outlets as a codification of anti-gay discrimination. They are wrong. Here is why.
Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a state-level version of the federal RFRA. To understand what RFRA does, it helps to first understand how the law came about.
History of RFRA more >>
An Indiana bakery, 111 Cakery, that drew protests last year after the business' Christian owners declined a request from a gay man to make a cake for his same-sex wedding, has decided to close shop for good.
"We have decided not to renew our lease so we are now closed. We want to thank everyone for your patronage, support and friendship. It has been a true pleasure to serve you. Eph 2:8," notes a message on the bakery's website.
Randy McGath, 48, who co-own's the bakery, told USA Today that the business was still profitable but his wife, Trish, 45, who did most of the baking, wanted to spend more time with their four grandchildren. more >>
A group of students at Indiana Wesleyan University gave a local pizza delivery driver a tip of $1,268 along with gift cards and thousands of inspirational notes as part of an illustration during the weekly prayer service after he delivered an order worth $12.50.
The generosity followed efforts by Keith Newman, the CEO of Residential Education, to illustrate a point to 3,000 students during a weekly prayer gathering at the college's chapel: "Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone."
The Marion-based Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, evangelical Christian, liberal arts university. more >>
Long the domain of church and state officials, in Indiana the solemnization of marriages now can be overseen by people who profess to have no religion at all.
Indiana has opted to not try to delay a decision from a three-judge panel of the Chicago-based United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals allowing for non-theists to officiate weddings. more >>
An atheist group has convinced an Indiana school district to ban its teacher led-prayers in its local public schools.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the Vigo County School Corporation in Terre Haute in May, demanding that it halt the practice of allowing teachers to lead prayers in area public schools. The letter came after an anonymous parent contacted the atheist organization, saying that a teacher at the local Sarah Scott Middle School had led a prayer during a recent school banquet.
The letter demanded that the school district investigate the incident and provide an outline as to how it would educate its teachers and staff on the constitutional separation of church and state. more >>
A federal appeals court in Indiana has ruled to allow humanists in the state to have their weddings officiated by a secular celebrant.
A three judge panel with the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that humanists should be allowed to have their weddings officiated by secularist celebrants, arguing that preventing them from doing so violated the First Amendment rights to freedom of religion. Previously, Indiana's law stated that marriages could only be performed by religious clergy or government officials, such as mayors and city clerks.
"This is a big step forward in recognizing the rights of nonreligious persons," Reba Boyd Wooden, executive director for the Center for Inquiry, a humanist group, said in a press release. "Now couples may have a Secular Celebrant who shares their world view solemnize their marriage." more >>