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Indiana Wesleyan measure stirs religion debate

Measure clearing Indiana Wesleyan to contract with state stirs religion debate at Statehouse

Republican lawmakers slipped a religious rights provision into a proposed property tax bill during a committee meeting Monday.

Tom LoBianco/Associated Press
Posted on Feb. 24, 2014 at 5:20 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS — A measure designed to restore Indiana Wesleyan University’s workforce training contract with the state unexpectedly raised debate in a General Assembly already energized by this year’s gay marriage debate.

Republican State Rep. Eric Turner proposed amending Indiana’s civil rights law to allow religious institutions doing business with the state to employ people based in part on their religious affiliation.

Turner filed the measure shortly after the state rejected a longstanding workforce training contract with Wesleyan. A lawyer with the attorney general’s office determined language allowing the Christian university to hire in part based on religion violated state law.

The measure narrowly passed the House Ways and Means Committee Monday but Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma spiked the measure shortly after the issue erupted into a heated religion debate on Twitter. Bosma said the measure will be re-committed to the Ways and Means Committee for further discussion, as reported by IndyStar.com.



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