NRO: Liberals against Religious Liberty in Indiana "Indiana has adopted a state-level version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), thereby imposing a “strict scrutiny” legal standard when the state government or local powers pass laws that interfere with the free exercise of religion. For this, Governor Mike Pence and Indiana’s legislators have been denounced as gay-hating monsters, a claim that was never made about President Bill Clinton, who signed the federal RFRA, or about the people and powers of such liberal states as Connecticut, which is one of the 20 states with a RFRA. Another dozen or so states have constitutional provisions similar to those in RFRA." . . .
NRO: On “discrimination,” Jim Crow, etc. . . . "To allege that RFRA incites rampant discrimination on the level of Jim Crow–era segregation ignores a fundamental distinction: Jim Crow segregation was state-sponsored discrimination. Regardless of what opinion a shopkeeper or a business owner had toward racial minorities, the law required him to discriminate. To give relief to a particular wedding vendor who feels uncomfortable servicing a gay wedding isn’t in any way comparable to state-sponsored discrimination." . . .
If you read only one of these articles, make it be this one:
NRO: A calm look at Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its precedents. . . . "This opinion generated an immediate backlash: How could a person be punished for exercising his sincerely held religious beliefs? In 1993, then-Representative Charles Schumer of New York introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the House of Representatives. Its counterpart bill in the Senate was co-sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy. The bill enjoyed such wide-ranging bipartisan support that it passed the House on a voice vote, passed the Senate by a vote of 97 to 3, and was promptly signed into law by President Clinton. (Imagine such a significant law passing today with this kind of vote!)" . . .
The law states that the federal “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless it “is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest” and “is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” At a minimum, RFRA attempted to reverse the Court’s construction of the Free Exercise clause in the Smith case.