[Libs-Or] Fwd: [alacro-l] ALA Statement on Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Suzanne Sager bvss at pdx.edu
Wed Apr 1 07:05:39 PDT 2015


Suzanne L. Sager

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael Dowling <mdowling at ala.org>
Date: Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 6:54 AM
Subject: [alacro-l] ALA Statement on Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration
To: "ALACro-l at lists.ala.org" <ALACro-l at lists.ala.org>

ALA President Courtney Young releases statement regarding Indiana’s new
Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Tue, 03/31/2015

CHICAGO —  Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently signed into law the
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Section 1.IC34-13.9 of the Indiana Code)
as passed by the Indiana General Assembly. The law is part of a disturbing
trend of  “RFRA’s” that many states are passing to guarantee that people
and businesses have the right to exercise their constitutional freedom of
religion in regard to the services they offer to the public. Unlike many
other states, Indiana does not have a non-discrimination law that protects
GLBTQ persons and provides an opportunity to legalize intolerance.

Following Governor Pence’s request that the General Assembly try to fix the
law amidst local and national outcry, American Library Association (ALA)
President Courtney Young released the following statement:

“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act contradicts the fundamental values
of the ALA and libraries. The ALA deplores and rejects any law that
violates the civil liberties of any person.  Our association is built
around the ALA Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights that reflect
this deeply held value.  Access to all applies to libraries as well as
restaurants, businesses, and associations like ours.

“We reaffirm that is it is the responsibility of library staff everywhere,
regardless of the legal ability to refuse service, to offer equal and
unfettered access to all users in keeping with the library Bill of Rights
and principles of intellectual freedom.

“The Indiana RFRA has understandably triggered deep concern in the ALA
community, which is currently scheduled for its 2021 Midwinter Meeting in
Indianapolis.  Although the law has been denounced by the Mayor of
Indianapolis, the Chamber of Commerce, and many businesses, the ALA and key
Indiana members continue to monitor the legislative situation.

“ALA’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is calling for input
from the membership—how can we best engage our host communities when ALA
holds its conference in the midst of a local controversy that touches us

“The ALA and its members will continue efforts to work towards developing a
long-term strategy to encounter the growing trend of RFRA’s, which threaten
to undermine civil rights and the fundamental principles upon which
libraries are founded.”

The American Library Association (ALA), the voice of America’s libraries,
is the oldest, largest, and most influential library association in the
world. Its approximately 56,000 members are primarily librarians but also
trustees, publishers, and other library supporters. The Association
represents all types of libraries; its mission is to promote the
highest-quality library and information services and public access to


Macey Morales

Manager Media Relations


mmorales at ala.org

Suzanne L. Sager
Oregon ALA Representative
Portland State University Library
PO Box 1151
Portland, OR  97207-1151

Phone: 503-725-8169
Fax: 503-725-5799

email: sagers at pdx.edu
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