Political analyst on RFRA: “This issue is not over”

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana legislators and Gov. Mike Pence have spent the last few days amending the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The amendment clarifies RFRA will not allow for discrimination, especially people of the LGBT community. A political analyst said this is far from over.

“I have said before and I’ll say it again, I feel pretty confident there will be some kind of litigation, maybe before the end of this year,” said Andy Downs, with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics.

Downs points out many business leaders and Hoosiers will be satisfied at the moment but will continue the conversation. Downs said the RFRA debate has caused so much distraction that many business owners, legislators and Gov. Pence want to put this behind them and get back to work.

“This was something that distracted them for a little while, and some would say rightfully distracted them, took their attention away from their business, but they want to get back to doing what they do for a living,” Downs explained.

Another topic he sees happening next session is adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Indiana’s Civil Rights laws. He said it’s too late in the session to focus on that right now, but Thursday’s passage of the amended RFRA bill suggests this will be a big push for the LGBT community and advocates.

“While I know there are people who say they’ll be additional work done, we really have to wait until we get to that point,” said Downs.

Downs said legislators can now focus on passing a budget and working out other bills before passing them before the end of the session which is April 29.

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