Portland mayor prohibits city-paid travel to Indiana


Charlie Hales responded to the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act by banning city travel to Indiana.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Charlie Hales responded to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act by banning city travel to Indiana.

The law legalizes discrimination against members of the LGBT community.

Portland mayor Charlie Hales announced his decision Monday.

“Gov. Mike Pence and the Indiana Legislature have to understand that such blatant discrimination against their own citizens cannot stand. We, as a country, have moved so far from those shameful practices of the past,” Hales said in a statement. 

Hales underscored the lack of civil rights protections in the Indiana law, Portland Tribune reports:

“Indiana isn’t the first state to adopt this backward, discriminatory policy, but most states have sexual-orientation language in their civil rights statutes to protect LGBT residents,”

Hales said. “Indiana doesn’t offer these same protections. All states have to realize that government-sponsored discrimination against LGBT residents in the United States of America has to stop.”

The mayors of Seattle and San Francisco issued similar decrees.

The Indianapolis Star made its viewpoint clear on Tuesday:

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Cover courtesy of the Indianapolis Star

Pence has maintained that the law is not discriminatory and has defended it despite the outcry, USA Today reports.

“This issue for me is first about religious liberty,” Pence said. “Indiana is open for business. If we have to make adjustments to this law to make it clear that this law as never intended to give businesses the right to turn away customers on the basis of sexual orientation, we will fix that.”

He blamed “some on the left and, frankly, some in the national media” with forcing the state to consider clarifying the law. He again argued that the law mirror’s the federal law signed by President Clinton in 1993.

Republicans presumed to run for president in 2016 — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz — all issued statements supporting the law and Pence.

 




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