IU statement on changes to Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Apr. 2, 2015

Earlier this morning, IU released a statement regarding changes to the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

IU expresses its appreciation and support for this clarifying language, which ensures that nothing in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act will provide legal protection for, or in any way promote or permit, discrimination in any form on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or their race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity or military service. We are grateful for the hard work and good intentions of those who have earnestly labored in recent days to address this problem. 

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Indiana University asks all Hoosiers to remember that religious liberty and equal protection under the law are both cornerstones of our democracy and they should not be in conflict with each other.

IU asks all Hoosiers to remember that religious liberty and equal protection under the law are both cornerstones of our democracy and they should not be in conflict with each other. Our system of government works best when people of good will come together to reconcile their differences and find common ground. 

We are pleased that this has happened in this situation, and it is our hope and expectation that this clarification will now allow all Hoosiers to put this matter behind us and work together to promote a better image and indeed a better future for the State of Indiana.

The statement followed IU President Michael A. McRobbie's March 29 statement expressing concern over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

The recent passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act has brought significant negative attention to the state of Indiana throughout the nation and indeed the world, because the law is widely viewed as signaling an unwelcoming and discriminatory atmosphere in our state.

While IU hopes that the controversy of the past few days will move the state government to reconsider this unnecessary legislation, the damage already done to Indiana's reputation is such that all public officials and public institutions in our state need to reaffirm our absolute commitment to the Hoosier values of fair treatment and non-discrimination.

For its part, IU remains steadfast in our longstanding commitment to value and respect the benefits of a diverse society. It is a fundamental core value of our culture at Indiana University and one that we cherish. Indeed, in 2014 the trustees of IU reaffirmed our commitment to the achievement of equal opportunity within the university.

To that end, IU will recruit, hire, promote, educate and provide services to persons without regard to their age, race, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. Equally importantly, we will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of any of these same factors.

These are not merely words written in a policy and soon forgotten. These are core values by which every member of the IU community is expected to treat his or her fellow colleagues, students and visitors.

I want to reassure the entire IU community, including our students, faculty, staff and alumni, that each and every one of you is welcome and appreciated for the unique qualities that you bring to our community. We are all better as a result of our shared experiences, as different as those experiences in life may have been.

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