Religious Freedom Restoration Act back in national spotlight after attack video

Many business owners along Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indianapolis said they hope the spotlight won’t have an impact on Indiana more than a year later. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is now back in the national spotlight after the Hillary Clinton campaign released a video going after Donald Trump announced his running mate pick Mike Pence.

Many business owners along Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indianapolis said they hope the spotlight won’t have an impact on Indiana more than a year later.

“I really hope people can see how much people in Indiana are actually really wonderful people,” said Emily Scwafk.

Scwafk works at Silver in the City and also runs a photography business.

“A lot of these shops you look around here and Silver in The City, they just embrace diversity, tolerance, kindness, compassion,” she said.

It was more than a year ago when Governor Mike Pence signed RFRA into law. The move caused controversy with people protesting saying the bill targeted the LGBT community. RFRA was later changed to offer protection.

“I would say on the community level, if anything it brought people closer together and the desire to make everyone feel accepted,” she said.

And that acceptance can be seen with a sticker on some businesses on Massachusetts Avenue. The sticker reads: this business serves everyone.

The sticker is part of a campaign with Open For Service. Josh Driver is the founder of the campaign.

“I think it’s great that we’re thought of as some type of force for good and maybe a silver lining out of RFRA,” said Driver.

He said the nonpartisan group has received a lot of attention within the last 24 hours.

“We’ve had some of the political campaigns reach out and be interested in using the sticker,” he said.

While Driver knows everyone may not see eye-to-eye, he’s hoping for some common ground in the end.

“I hope that energy can be refocus into actually creating change solving a problem or try at least try to figure out some type of channel to join together for just the greater good,” he said.

Around 10,000 businesses across the country have registered with Open For Service and nearly 3,000 in Indiana.

Driver said he’s receiving anywhere between 5 to 10 businesses per hour since Trump announced Governor Pence as his running mate.

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