Indy mayors concerned by RFRA fallout

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The five living mayors of Indianapolis sent a letter to the editor over the fallout from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The letter was sent to the Indianapolis Star on Tuesday by Richard Lugar, William H. Hudnut III, Stephen Goldsmith, Bart Peterson and current mayor, Greg Ballard.

In the letter they voiced their concerns about the fallout saying the law threatens to undo efforts dating back to 1967 to build the city to be a caring and hospitable city.

“Indianapolis is a city with a first-class reputation as a great place to live, as an extraordinary host for major events and major league sports teams, and as a winner in the competition to attract new economic development opportunities. Ours is a city that cares about the common good and promotes respect for all citizens, and a city that has a vibrant downtown with successful venues for all kinds of sporting, religious, entertainment, and educational events and conventions.”

They went on to say the city has always displayed an openness to all people. An inscription from the Bible in the old City Hall that says “we are citizens of ‘no mean city.’ Which is to say, we are citizens of an exceptional city – one that values fairness, civility, and equal opportunity-not one that is seen as mean-spirited and accepting of discriminatory practices.”

In the letter they ask lawmakers to amend the bill and ask businesses to remember Indianapolis’ strong history of preventing discrimination.

“We ask that national associations and corporations that do business, or would do business, in our city recognize that Indianapolis has a history of ordinances and Executive Orders protecting tolerance and preventing discrimination whether in terms of prayer, employment, provision of goods and services, or public accommodation, and explicitly extending to sexual orientation and gender identity.”

This is not the first letter sent out that voices concerns about the law. Several corporate businesses sent a letter directly to Governor Mike Pence on Monday.

Pence told the public that “we will fix this” law so it is clear that it does not give people the right to discriminate at a Tuesday press conference that aired on 24-Hour News 8. Pence noted that it was a tough week in the Hoosier state and he will continue to defend the “decent people of Indiana.”