News Local/State

Rauner, Sen. Kirk Criticize New Indiana Law

Thousands of opponents of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, gathered on the lawn of the Indiana State

Thousands of opponents of Indiana Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, gathered on the lawn of the Indiana State House to rally against that legislation Saturday. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says Indiana's religious objections law may open the door to discriminatory behavior.
Rauner spoke to reporters Wednesday in Chicago after an unrelated event.

The Republican says Illinois has "struck the right balance'' between religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws, but that he's troubled by the Indiana law.

“I believe that it may open the door for some discriminatory behavior and that would be bad," he said.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois went a step further, saying he strongly opposes the law. He says it could "enshrine bigotry under the cover of religion.'' He said it's a bad practice and "basically un-American.''
Indiana's law has been widely criticized by businesses and organizations around the country, but proponents say it'll keep the government from compelling people to provide services they find objectionable on religious grounds.

In fact, one northern Indiana pizzeria says it will not cater same-sex weddings on religious grounds.
Indiana lawmakers are working to clarify the bill's intent.    Late Wednesday, the leader of the Indiana House said he believes agreement is near on a proposed clarification for the new law.
Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said Wednesday night that House GOP members were "very closely united'' on a proposal and that he hoped details would be released Thursday.
Bosma and the Republican Senate leader spent several hours Wednesday in meetings with Gov. Mike Pence, fellow GOP lawmakers and business executives talking about the clarification language, which Pence requested.

Democrats like State Senator Earline Rogers of Gary says there’s a simpler solution.

"Basically, our position is to repeal and protect," he said.  "Repeal the law and protect every citizen in the state of Indiana."

Protesters are expected to arrive in droves as the NCAA men’s Final Four gets under way in Indianapolis this weekend.