GOP Indianapolis Mayor Issues Order To Protect Gay People From New Law

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March 31, 2015 8:49 a.m.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R) on Monday denounced Indiana’s new religious freedom law and issued an executive order to help ensure that gays and lesbians are still protected from discrimination in the city.

“Our city thrives because we have welcomed and embraced diversity. And RFRA threatens what thousands of people have spent decades building,” he said in a Monday press conference, according to the Indianapolis Star. “Discrimination is wrong. And I hope that message is being heard loud and clear at our Statehouse.”

Ballard’s executive order reaffirmed the city’s existing policy that prohibits anyone who receives city funds from discriminating against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The order also called on Gov. Mike Pence (R) and the state legislature protect gay people from discrimination in state law.

The Indianapolis City Council on Monday passed a resolution opposing the religious freedom law. Council Vice President John Barth (D) said the resolution was intended to “send a crystal clear message that Indianapolis is a welcoming and diverse city,” according to the Indianapolis Star.

According to the Indianapolis Star, the Indianapolis anti-discrimination ordinance includes sexual orientation as a protected class, but city leaders are not sure whether the new state law would override the protections.

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