Salesforce CEO: We're helping employees move out of Indiana.

The new Indiana statute also contains this odd language: “A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.” (My italics.) Neither the federal RFRA, nor 18 of the 19 state statutes cited by the Post, says anything like this; only the Texas RFRA, passed in 1999, contains similar language.

What these words mean is, first, that the Indiana statute explicitly recognizes that a for-profit corporation has “free exercise” rights matching those of individuals or churches. A lot of legal thinkers thought that idea was outlandish until last year’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, in which the Court’s five conservatives interpreted the federal RFRA to give some corporate employers a religious veto over their employees’ statutory right to contraceptive coverage.

Essentially it expands the RFRA concept past if there is a governmental compelling interest. This opens the door to discrimination based on religious belief by a private business against their own customers, if they are not in a state or federal protected class (which gays are not).

Again, I will say that when the supporters of the bill say that language ensuring the bill cannot be used for discrimination guts the purpose of the bill we need not look further to find the true intent of the bill.

Also good reading from a year ago:

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