When Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., took to Twitter last night to echo opposition and concern from the NCAA about Indiana’s new religious freedom law, some were puzzled—especially since Schumer had sponsored a national religious freedom law that closely matches Indiana’s new law.
“.@NCAA if you’re looking for a new place to hold 2021 #FinalFour – NY has plent of great venues that don’t discriminate,” Schumer tweeted.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 26, 2015
But Schumer was the main sponsor of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was enacted in 1993. While Indiana’s religious freedom law differs in some minor respects, in essentials it closely matches parameters set forth by the federal law that has been in place for more than two decades, noted Heritage Foundation analyst Ryan T. Anderson, citing legal analysis by Josh Blackman, an assistant law professor at South Texas College of Law.
Schumer apparently didn’t care to explain:
.@SenSchumer could you explain how Indiana’s RFRA is different than the federal RFRA you sponsored in 1993?
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) March 26, 2015
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) March 27, 2015
Schumer wasn’t the only lawmaker supporting the national religious freedom law to criticize Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, for this week signing the state law. Potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton—whose husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed the national law—tweeted about it yesterday.
To learn more about Indiana’s new religious freedom law and what it will mean for businesses, check out Anderson’s and Sarah Torre’s column on it.