Gov. Mike Pence, can you hear us now?
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R) on Monday called on the Indiana General Assembly to either repeal the divisive Religious Freedom Restoration Act or add explicit protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in state law, in response to Indiana’s new discrimination anti-gay law which Pence signed.
He called on Pence to fix this “immediately”.
In addition, Ballard issued an executive order that anyone who receives money from the city government must abide by its human rights ordinance, which has had such protections in place for a decade, the Indy Star reports.
Ballard’s remarks were the strongest yet from the Republican leader of the state’s capital and largest city in the wake of the bill.
The Indy Star reports:
Flanked by business leaders, Ballard denounced the law not only as a threat to the city’s economic interests, but as a serious concern for residents and visitors who fear that they could be subjected to discrimination for religious reasons.
“Our city thrives because we have welcomed and embraced diversity. And RFRA threatens what thousands of people have spent decades building,” Ballard said.
“Discrimination is wrong. And I hope that message is being heard loud and clear at our Statehouse.”
“Indianapolis will not be defined by this,” he said, repeating it for emphasis. “Indianapolis will not be defined by this. Indianapolis welcomes everybody,” Ballard said.
Later today, the City-County Council is to introduce Proposition 120, a special resolution denouncing the law and urging the General Assembly to add protections for sexual orientation to state civil rights law.
Watch courtesy of WISH:
“The city of Indianapolis is a welcoming place that values all its citizens — SB 101 does not reflect the diversity of our great city,” Council President Maggie Lewis said.
This should not be a partisan issue.
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