Senate passes bill allowing religion-based hiring by contractors

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The Indiana Senate has moved a bill to the House of Representatives that will allow religious institutions that receive state and local government contracts to make hiring decisions based upon religion.

Senators voted 39-11 Tuesday afternoon to approve the proposal.

Republican Sen. Travis Holdman of Markle says he sponsored the measure to restore the ability of Indiana Wesleyan University to receive state workforce training grants. The state attorney general’s office determined last year that the university’s religious lifestyle mandate violated state contracting requirements against employment discrimination.

The Republican-dominated Senate voted 37-6 on Monday to defeat a proposed amendment from Democratic Sen. Tim Lanane of Anderson that would have added sexual orientation to the state's anti-discrimination law.

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