SAA Statement on Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Subsequent Action by Indiana General Assembly and Governor

The Society of American Archivists shares the concerns expressed by many about Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). We are gratified that on April 2, 2015, the Indiana General Assembly and Governor Mike Pence amended certain aspects of the RFRA (Section 1.IC34-13.9 of the Indiana Code), which had been signed into law days earlier.

The values of diversity, equity, and transparency form the foundation of the archival profession, as reflected in the Society of American Archivists’ Core Values Statement and Code of Ethics. As noted in SAA’s Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy, discrimination and unequal treatment are inimical to the Society’s values and goals. SAA prohibits within the organization discrimination on the grounds of age, color, creed, disability, family relationship, gender identity/expression, individual life style, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, and believes that discrimination within the larger context of society is indefensible. SAA will vigorously pursue a policy and practices of non-discrimination and equal opportunity through its programs (including its annual meeting), services, operations, activities, employment, and business contracts.

The revised Indiana law prohibits service providers from using it as a legal defense for refusing to provide goods, services, facilities, or accommodations, and it bars discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or U.S. military service. The measure exempts churches and affiliated schools, along with nonprofit religious organizations. Gay-rights groups have noted that Indiana's civil rights law still does not include LGBT people as a protected class.

SAA urges all states to respect and protect the rights of all their citizens.

2 Comment(s) to the "SAA Statement on Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Subsequent Action by Indiana General Assembly and Governor"
astankra says:
SAA Statement on Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act


I want to *Thank* SAA for standing up for what's right and fair. It's critical that the toxic, bigoted, and backwards RFRA is opposed from all ends - and professional organizations are a key part of that.


As an archivist who works in the state of Indiana, it's important that others know there are concerned Hoosiers who are actively fighting against RFRA. Thanks for standing with us, SAA!


Alison Stankrauff

Archivist and Associate Librarian

Franklin D. Schurz Library

Indiana University South Bend

P.O. Box 7111

South Bend, Indiana  46634

(574) 520-4392


jwbrett says:
SAA Statement on Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Amen to what Alison has said, and what SAA as a group has decided to say with regard to the horrible throwback called the RFRA.


Jeremy Brett, C.A. 

Assistant Professor and Processing Archivist

Curator, Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection

Cushing Memorial Library and Archives

Texas A&M University

5000 TAMU

College Station, TX 77843-5000

(979) 845-1951

You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve.

                  -Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra, December 24, 1798