Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has engaged in some interstate payback by attempting to lure Indiana companies over the state’s newly signed religious-freedom bill, but what he doesn’t mention is that Illinois already has a similar .In a Friday letter, Mr. Emanuel cited the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as a reason to “look next door to an economy that is moving forward into the 21st century,” referring to Illinois.
“Gov. Pence’s act is wrong. It’s wrong for the people of Indiana, wrong for the individuals who will face new discrimination, and wrong for a state seeking to grow its economy,” said the letter, a copy of which was postedon the Crain’s Chicago Business .Mr. Emanuel, a Democrat and former top aide to President Obama, failed to point out that the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act became law in July 1998. What’s more, Indiana Republicans say Mr. Obama voted for the measure as an Illinois state senator.
Illinois is one of 20 states with a RFRA. Another 11 states have RFRA protection as a result of court decisions, while President Bill Clinton signed the federal RFRA in 1993.
Indiana has been targeted for an economic boycott after Mr. Pence signed the law, which critics say legalizes religious discrimination against gays. The Republican governor has denied the charge, saying he would not have signed a bill that allows discrimination.