For immediate release:
March 26, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS - State Rep. Gail Riecken (D-Evansville) today issued the following statement after Gov. Mike Pence gave final approval to Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 101:
“While the supporters of this misguided act may think that today’s bill signing should put everyone’s fears to rest, I think our problems are only just beginning. I think we are opening a Pandora’s Box that will have lasting implications for our state for years into the future.
“The governor and other advocates for SEA 101 already have ignored the pleas for common sense that have come from a variety of sources. It is not very often that you see the mayor of Indianapolis, Cummins Engine, Eli Lilly, the Disciples of Christ, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and the organizers of the Gen Con convention in perfect harmony, but they are in their belief that this measure sends the wrong message to people about Indiana.
“SEA 101 will allow individuals to ignore any law they choose, simply because they feel it conflicts with their religious beliefs. It will pave the way for intolerance of others.
“Others have noted in great detail the kinds of problems that will result for people in same-sex relationships. During debate on this bill in the House, I added my concerns that it would hinder our efforts to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our children.
“These concerns have been roundly ignored by the supporters of SEA 101. We are told that we should not worry about such things.
“But there have been incidents in other states that mirror what I feel could happen here. Not long ago, I read an account of a same-sex couple in Michigan who were denied pediatric care for their 6-day-old daughter because of the physician’s beliefs. There were no laws to protect the couple from this discrimination.
[Rep. Riecken explains her concerns about SEA 101 in this 60-second mp3 clip.]
“I fear that with passage of this bill, we are going to make it easier for people to use the guise of religious freedom to abuse and neglect others, refuse medical service, deny others employment or housing, and even say they won’t serve others in a restaurant.
“There will be one group of people I see benefiting from today’s passage. I imagine the legal community is looking forward to having a field day with lawsuits that address various aspects of what will result from this bill. That should not make anyone happy.”