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Sen. Baldwin would hate to see Indiana religious freedom law in WisconsinSubmitted: 03/31/2015

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WAUSAU - Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) doesn't like Indiana's new religious freedom law.

The law sets up a legal test to protect religious rights, but opponents argue the wording in the Indiana law gives businesses the power to discriminate against customers, especially based on sexual orientation.

The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday that he doesn't anticipate a similar law would move forward in Wisconsin.

However, when Walker was asked if Wisconsin would ever pass a law similar to Indiana's, Walker said, "That's not anything that's been debated in the past at any great length. We'll have to see," according to the Milwaukee Business Journal report.

Supporters of the law believe it gives religious groups needed protection from government intrusion. However, opponents say it will let businesses discriminate against the LGBT community.

Newswatch 12 spoke with Baldwin at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau Tuesday, and she said the Indiana law should be fixed.

"The idea that you could pass legislation that basically makes it even easier to discriminate is pretty scary and pretty alarming to me," Baldwin said.

19 other states have some type of religious freedom law. Arkansas's House also approved a religious freedom bill Tuesday that mirrors Indiana's law, but Baldwin says opponents need to fight against bills like this across the U.S.

"This is a trend that's happening around this country," Baldwin said. "I would hate to see it here in Wisconsin, either at the municipal or state level, but we have to be vigilant, we have to fight for everybody's equal rights."

Gov. Mike Pence (R- Indiana) asked his state's legislature Tuesday to clarify the law so that it would make it clear it doesn't allow businesses to discriminate. That's after intense national scrutiny on the issue after he signed the bill last week.

"It would be helpful to move legislation this week that makes it clear this law does not give business a right to refuse services to anyone," Pence said.

We don't know what that clarification will look like, but Pence says he wants that legislation on his desk by the end of the week.

A link to the law's text is below.


Related Weblinks:
Milwaukee Business Journal Article
Indiana Senate Bill 101

Story By: Adam Fox

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