Central Indiana business goes public with support for religious freedom legislation

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LEBANON, Ind. (March 27, 2015) -- A local business has gone public with the fact that they support Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Samson Family Leather in Lebanon says while they don't discriminate, they want the right to decline a sale that would make them feel uncomfortable. The family welcomes anyone in to their store to buy something off the rack, they say. What they say they might have trouble fulfilling is a custom order that goes against their religious beliefs.

"I want the opportunity to say,'You know, that makes me uncomfortable.' As a business person, as an American, I should have that opportunity to say, 'This makes me uncomfortable and I wish not to do that'," said Casey Samson.

Governor Mike Pence penned the bill in to law Thursday. Supporters of it say it was necessary to protect state business owners from excess government control. 19 other states have similar laws that mirror the federal version that was put in to place more than two decades ago.

"This bill is not about discrimination and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way, I would've vetoed it," said Governor Pence.

Katie Blair, campaign manager for Freedom Indiana, doesn't see it that way.

"The reason that RFRA is where it is right now is it's a direct backlash for the gains of the LGBT community that we've had here in Indiana for the past year," Blair said.

Some states that have a version of this law also have anti-discrimination laws. Indiana does not. Blair wants to fight that and has help.

"Over 60,000 Hoosiers that are here and they're mobilized and they're ready to fight any kind of discriminatory bill and to also stand up and be proactive about discrimination," she added.

Casey Samson says he would support an anti-discrimination law.

"Absolutely, and I think that this law is not legalizing discrimination," Samson said.

House Speaker Brian Bosma Tweeted: "No discrimination is tolerated under Indiana RFRA. Check the facts (not the fiction) on our Resource page."

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