Indianapolis City-County Council approves anti-RFRA resolution

INDIANAPOLIS -- Members of the Indianapolis City-County Council have approved a resolution opposing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Crowds cheered after Proposal 120 was passed 24 to 4 during Monday night's meeting.

The resolution, drafted by Council Vice President John Barth (D), states that RFRA is "not a true representation of our city as a welcoming and inclusive place" and is bad for local businesses.

READ | City-County Council Proposal 120, 2015

Proposal 120 also encourages the Indiana State Legislature to amend the civil rights section of the Indiana Code to include sexual orientation or to specifically exempt locally enacted human rights ordinances from Senate Enrolled Act 101 (RFRA).

Barth said he was disappointed that the resolution was needed, but happy to see so many people there to support it.

Sponsors of the bill say Indianapolis is diverse and welcoming, but RFRA opens the door to discrimination.

"I’m not sure exactly what this will do, but we want them to understand that we are so much more than this. It is the wrong thing to do, it’s the wrong message to send and we need to protect everyone in our community," Council President Maggie Lewis (D) said.

Council member Jason Holliday, District 22, was one of the four to vote against the proposal.

"We as the City-County council need to be dealing with more pertinent issues that are within our authority and jurisdiction," Holliday said.

Other members of the Council said sending a message of acceptance is exactly what is needed. 

The next step is for Mayor Greg Ballard to sign the resolution. He has already publicly expressed his support and has spoken out against RFRA.

From there, the resolution will then go to Gov. Mike Pence's office.



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