- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana’s governor has signed into law a bill restricting state government from infringing on a person’s religious beliefs despite criticism that it could allow discrimination against gay people.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s action on Thursday made Indiana the first state to enact such a change this year among about a dozen where such proposals have been introduced.

The measure would prohibit state and local laws that “substantially burden” the ability of people, businesses and associations to follow their religious beliefs. Some national gay-rights groups consider the Indiana bill among the most sweeping of this year’s state proposals.

Organizers of a 50,000-person gamers’ convention and a large gathering of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have notified Pence that they’re considering moving events from Indianapolis over the issue.

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