National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2015
Contact: AuriaJoy Asaria
(202) 775-9555, ext. 3
NAPABA OPPOSES INDIANA GOVERNOR’S PASSAGE OF
WASHINGTON — On Thursday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law SB 101, legislation that would enable businesses to discriminate under the banner of religious freedom against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Religious claims have in the past been used to justify slavery, segregation, and bans on interracial marriage and are now being used in the same manner to support discrimination against LGBT individuals.
"Governor Pence's decision to support a law that permits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is disheartening and a step backwards for all Americans," said George C. Chen, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Religious freedom is important, but discrimination masked as religious freedom is not acceptable anywhere in our nation.”
With this new law, Indiana has become the first state in the U.S. this year to enact legislation by allowing corporations and individuals to refuse to provide services to individuals simply by asserting that a discriminatory act is based on a sincerely held religious belief. Supporters of the bill deny that the bill is about discrimination and argue that religious liberties are under attack and must be protected. But this kind of legislation opens the door for widespread discrimination and goes against American values of diversity and inclusion. NAPABA supports efforts to oppose SB 101 and similar bills pending in others states to ensure equality for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
(NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law
professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and
approximately 70 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners,
large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at
all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political
leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the
community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of
Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and
diversity in the courts.