Indianapolis Ex-Mayors Want Religious-Objections Law Changes

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Four former and the current mayor of Indianapolis mayor say they are distressed by the fallout caused by Indiana's new religious-freedom law.

In a letter to the Indianapolis Star, Richard Lugar, William Hudnut III, Stephen Goldsmith, Bart Peterson and current Mayor Greg Ballard said the response to the law threatens to undo efforts made since 1967 to “build an inclusive, caring and hospitable city.''

The religious-freedom law prohibits any laws that “substantially burden'' a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of “person'' includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

The legal language does not specifically mention gays and lesbians. But critics say it's designed to shield businesses and individuals who do not want to serve gays and lesbians.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Tuesday asked lawmakers to send him a clarification of the law.