CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397
WASHINGTON, DC -- Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to Indiana legislation that would gut the state's Religious Freedom Restoration law which is also on the books in 19 other states:
"On the eve of Good Friday, Big Business is encouraging elected leaders to take the silver over religious freedom.
"This new proposal guts the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and empowers the government to impose punishing fines on people for following their beliefs about marriage.
"Religious freedom should not be held hostage by Big Business. Big Business is now putting religious freedom in a worse place than before RFRA was signed into law. Gutting RFRA in this manner would put people of faith in the crosshairs of government discrimination as never before. Far from being a 'clarification,' this would gut religious freedom in Indiana. Religious freedom doesn't need a 'fix.'
"This proposal would force religious businesses and even nonprofits deemed 'not religious enough' to participate in wedding ceremonies contrary to their owners' beliefs. If the government punishes people for living their faith, there are no limits to what government can control.
"We urge the governor to veto this measure that will be used by the government to bring financial ruin on people like florist Barronelle Stutzman, bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, and wedding photographer Elaine Huguenin.
"Now is the time for elected officials to refuse big business' enticements to sacrifice the fundamental right of people to live their lives according to their beliefs. They should stand on the side of freedom and the American people - not with big business and the intolerant left who want to use the government to punish people for freely living according to their beliefs," concluded Perkins.
• WPA Opinion Research poll finds 81 percent of Americans believe the "government should leave people free to follow their beliefs about marriage as they live their daily lives at work and in the way they run their businesses."
• Rasmussen Survey released yesterday reports 70% of Americans "agree that a Christian wedding photographer who has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage has the right to turn down working a job at such a wedding."