Columbus council backs sexual orientation protections

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) – The all-Republican city council in Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s hometown has voted unanimously to give initial support for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinances.

The Columbus City Council voted Tuesday night to advance the proposal that would also extend protections to military veterans and those 40 and older. The Republic reports  the council could take a final vote Sept. 15 on the ordinance change.

Columbus Councilman Frank Jerome says that in the future such sexual orientation protections will “seem like a no-brainer.”

Some other Indiana cities are considering expanded sexual orientation protections, although the mayors of Elkhart and Goshen withdrew their measures following opposition campaigns.

Columbus-based Cummins Inc. was a leading opponent of Indiana’s religious objections law, which critics maintained was anti-gay.