Mayoral candidate: RFRA is an ‘arrogant exercise of power’

Mayoral Candidate Rick Stevenson issues a statement on Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Thursday.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A democratic challenger for mayor and a Wayne Township Trustee called Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act an “arrogant exercise of power” on Thursday.

Rick Stevenson, who is challenging Mayor Tom Henry in the Democratic primary, made the announcement from Citizens Square on Thursday.

Stevenson emphasized that he has long been active in his Christian faith and called the new law, an “arrogant exercise of power by the Indiana state legislature.”

Stevenson said the law does not take into account Fort Wayne’s long history of compassion.

“The RFRA prevents our city from enforcing an ordinance that has served us well for over 50 years,” Stevenson said of Fort Wayne’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

The RFRA should include language that includes sexual orientation as a protected class, Stevenson said. He stated that if the bill was not modified to include that language, Fort Wayne’s human rights ordinance should be exempt to ensure that everyone in Fort Wayne will be treated with dignity.

When asked about Mayor Henry’s statements on the law, Stevenson said “one should stand up right or wrong. It’s not an in between issue. It’s right or wrong.”

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