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Mayor Greg Ballard pleased with amendment to RFRA

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — City leaders are weighing in on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act amendment.

State lawmakers made changes to the law after many were concerned the law would discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Under a new amendment, the law would add new protections for gays and lesbians.

Mayor Greg Ballard released this statement after learning about the RFRA amendment. Ballard has been very vocal about the damage the bill could cause to city’s economy of changes were not made.

“I appreciate both houses of the Indiana General Assembly taking this important first step. The proposed new language moves us in the right direction, and I would like to see it passed and signed into law by the end of the day. As discussions on this legislative fix progressed, the verbiage grew stronger, offering greater measures of protection for all Hoosiers. For the first time in Indiana at the state level, employment and housing protections are being proposed based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a positive step and a more accurate representation of the Hoosier Hospitality that defines Indianapolis and Indiana.”

City County Council President Maggie Lewis and Council Vice President John Barth released a joint statement below.

“We appreciate that the Indiana General Assembly took action today to amend SEA 101, also referred to as RFRA. It is especially important that the language appears to ensure that the Indianapolis Human Rights Ordinance is protected. We are thankful for the leadership of key members of the Indianapolis business community who advocated for the change. However, we do not believe that today’s ‘fix’ goes far enough. We fully stand by Proposal 120, passed 22-4 on Monday, in which the Council encourages the Indiana General Assembly to go further and to amend the Civil Rights section of the Indiana Code to include sexual orientation and gender identity as quickly as possible to protect LGBT Hoosiers. It is long past time that the General Assembly joined the Indianapolis City/County Council in enacting a comprehensive nondiscrimination law.”