Indiana has come under fire for a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence (R) that would allow businesses to refuse service for religious reasons. The NCAA has voiced its concern ahead of Final Four in Indianapolis next week, there are calls to boycott the state, and Miley Cyrus has even weighed in, calling Pence a name that we can't reprint on this family Web site in an Instagram post.
But Indiana is actually soon to be just one of 20 states with a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Here are those states, in dark teal:
Forty percent of U.S. states have something similar to Indiana, as does the federal government.
A federal RFRA signed by President Clinton in 1993 shares language with Indiana and other states' bills, prohibiting the government from "substantially burdening" individuals' exercise of religion unless it is for a "compelling government interest" and is doing so in the least restrictive means.
The fact that legislation like this is so widespread probably gave Pence some confidence in signing the bill, despite the controversy in Arizona last year over its bill that was ultimately scrapped, and in other states, like Georgia, which are considering similar measures this year (the NCSL found 13 additional states are considering their own RFRA legislation).
Pence has begun to feel the fallout from his decision. But while Indiana is being criticized, the NCAA didn't say it was concerned over how athletes and employees would be affected by Kentucky's RFRA when games were played there last week, there aren't any plans to boycott states like Illinois or Connecticut, and Miley Cyrus has yet to post a photo of President Clinton or any of the 19 other governors who have also signed RFRAs.
Indiana might be treated as if it's the only state with a bill like this, but it's not.