Last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) signed his state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Social media went a bit, well, bonkers. Hillary Clinton tweeted, “Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against ppl bc of who they love #LGBT.” The CEO of SalesForce, headquartered in Indiana, says they will pull out. Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, has called religious freedom laws “dangerous” and likens them to Jim Crow laws.
What’s all of this about?
First, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was signed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993. This act re-instated what is known as the Sherbert Act, in which the Supreme Court:
…set out a three-prong test for courts to use in determining whether the government has violated an individual’s constitutionally-protected right to the free exercise of religion. (more…)