Inslee supported law with a few similarities to Indiana’s religious act

Apr 3, 2015, 3:22 PM | Updated: 10:04 pm
Inslee described Indiana’s law as going “backwards.” (AP)...
Inslee described Indiana's law as going "backwards." (AP)

Governor Jay Inslee supported a law when he was in Congress with similar language to that of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Related: Washington governor rescinds Indiana travel ban

The 1993 Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was unanimously endorsed.

Within that act, similar language to Indiana’s recently revised law states “government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religious even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability” … except when it “is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

But there are fundamental differences between the two laws, Inslee told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson on Friday.

“The Indiana law had no protection based on gender identity,” Inslee said. The Indiana law allowed corporations to “act like they have a soul and religious beliefs.”

And, unlike the federal law, the Indiana law allowed for private discrimination, Inslee added.

When asked by Dori if Inslee would have voted for a similar law to Indiana’s, Inslee replied that a federal law would not have allowed for what Indiana would do.

“The Indiana law allowed for private discrimination,” Inslee said. “The federal law did not address private discrimination.”

Indiana’s original law raised concerns that it could allow business owners to deny services to gays and lesbians for religious reasons. The original law prohibited state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of “person” included religious institutions, businesses and associations.

The revised Indiana law bars discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or U.S. military service.

Inslee and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray banned travel to Indiana for work purposes. Inslee rescinded the ban on state-funded travel after the law was amended.

Inslee described Indiana’s law as going “backwards.”

But if the governor was willing to ban travel to another state based on a law that may have discriminated against gays and lesbians, why not ban travel to other countries that do worse, Dori asked. United Arab Emirates, for example, is a trade partner; where it is illegal to be gay.

The United States should be solving discrimination within itself before going international, Inslee responded.

When Inslee asked if Dori wants government to stop trading with countries that prohibit being gay, Dori said he doesn’t. However, he believes the travel ban to Indiana was hypocritical because there were no financial consequences.

“I agree nobody should get the Nobel Prize for what we did,” Inslee said. “But what we did do here was the right thing and that was to speak out in a way that was demonstrable.”

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Dori Monson stage show...
MyNorthwest Staff

Watch: Dori Monson’s ‘What are the Odds?’ stage show

In 2019, Dori Monson hosted a stage show - 'What are the Odds?' - which introduced you to the people who helped shape his improbable career.
1 month ago
Dori Monson welcomes the Moose back to KIRO. Follow @
MyNorthwest Staff

A collection of the all-time best Dori Monson stories

With the passing of Dori Monson, a collection of some of his top stories to remember all the hard work Dori brought to Seattle.
1 month ago
Alaska, fishing...
KIRO Newsradio staff

Listen: Friends, colleagues offer tribute to KIRO Newsradio’s Dori Monson

All day Monday, KIRO Newsradio's John Curley talked to friends, news makers, and more in tribute to Dori Monson.
1 month ago
Dori Monson Shorecrest...
Dori Monson Show

How to support charities reflecting Dori Monson’s values, passions

In tribute to Dori Monson, learn more about how you can support these three charities which best reflect his values, passions, and advocacy.
1 month ago
Dori Monson Nicole Thompson...
MyNorthwest Staff

Broadcasters, politicians, coworkers and friends remember Dori Monson

Dori Monson, a longtime KIRO Newsradio host, passed away Saturday. He is remembered by public figures, broadcasters, coworkers, and listeners.
1 month ago
Dori Monson...
MyNorthwest Staff

Longtime KIRO Newsradio host Dori Monson dies at age 61

We are deeply saddened to announce Dori Monson's sudden passing on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at a Seattle hospital.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Inslee supported law with a few similarities to Indiana’s religious act