In the case of Colorado law there was a bakery that tried to refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. From what I can find, the penalty is a fine.http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=Content-Disposition&blobheadername2=Content-Type&blobheadervalue1=inline%3B+filename%3D%22Colorado+Anti-Discrimination+Act+statutes+-+unofficial.pdf%22&blobheadervalue2=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251818317123&ssbinary=truehttp://aclu-co.org/court-cases/masterpiece-cakeshop/
I think this was the thing that caused the article I originally shared to be written. This is a pretty clear example of what the Indiana law was meant to avoid. The fine itself is quite small, but the legal proceedings tend to cost the state a fair amount of money.
IIRC another part of the Indiana law that has recently kicked up controversy is the court costs. It can get expensive to deal with these kinds of issues and from what I can tell the new law was basically to keep these kinds of cases from hitting a courtroom to begin with.
During a discussion I had with someone else about this, it came up that this is one of those things that would be suicide for a business to invoke in Indiana. The public backlash is what would kill a business here which is why I'm all the more perplexed about the law being written in the first place.
This is also why I'd rather have seen this framed as a way for non-essential businesses to simply exercise a freedom of association. The reason shouldn't matter in the eyes of the law IMO. The public backlash against a business (or even a person) is penalty enough should an injured party merely say anything about it (as it should be).
From my perspective it boils down to education and communication. Businesses need to understand that public opinion does actually matter and this kind of thing isn't tolerated anymore and people who would be discriminated against (if possible) should try to find other services that aren't acting against their own interests. I would quote to all parties involved the golden rule of the internet: "Don't be a dick." :(