In the aftermath of Gov. Mike Pence's signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and in the after-aftermath of the Republican sector of the House of Representatives trying to rework the language to make it non-discriminatory, Mid-American Conference commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher has made a statement regarding how the MAC will handle the implementation of the RFRA. Brett McMurphy of ESPN first broke the news:
MAC commish Jon Steinbrecher said MAC will not hold future championships/meetings in Indiana until "current matter" changed— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) March 31, 2015
Steinbrecher's full quote reads as follows:
"The Mid-American Conference will not schedule any more meetings or championships in Indiana until this current matter is brought to a sensible and appropriate solution."
Steinbrecher has informed NCAA president Mark Emmert of his decision, and according to McMurphy's report, he has suggested that the NCAA do the same as well, a relevant comment as this season's Final Four will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium on Easter Weekend.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, otherwise known as SB 568, first gained traction after a major comic convention protested the bill, which critics say allows for individuals, as well as businesses to legally discriminate members of the LGBTQ community based on their religious belief. The section in question, Section 6, is the crux of the controversy, as it "provides that a person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a state or local government action may assert the burden as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the state or a political subdivision of the state is a party to the judicial proceeding." SB 568 can be read in its entirety here.
Ball State University is the only MAC institution in Indiana, but with the baseball and softball seasons in-progress, there is a chance they may have to move the championship game if BSU advances to the title game.
Also in question for the future is the status of the MAC Presidential Meetings, held in Indianapolis. Steinbrecher has said that unless changes are made, they will reconsider where to hold said meeting, which is usually held at the beginning of the calendar year.