Thousands of people gathered in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday to protest the passage this week of a controversial “religious freedom” law that critics say could allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The protesters chanted and held signs as they marched from Monument Circle to the Indiana Statehouse to express their displeasure with Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who signed the legislation Thursday.
“No hate in our state,” “Whose State? Our State!” and “Fix the bill” were some of the chants heard in the background at the rally.
An unidentified State Police trooper estimated that as many as 3,000 were in attendance at the height of the rally.
Rally organizers also encouraged more people to register to vote to make their voices heard.
Pence signed the bill, also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, on Thursday, unleashing a storm of criticism from inside and outside of the state from people who think the bill could lead to discrimination from business owners who don’t want to serve gay or same-sex customers.
Business leaders also have criticized the bill, saying that it gives the state a bad image and will make it harder to recruit top talent to Indiana.
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SOURCE: USA Today, The Indianapolis Star, Cara Anthony