Communities reaffirm they’re welcoming amid new Indiana law

A window sticker on a downtown Indianapolis business, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, shows its objection to the Religious Freedom bill passed by the Indiana legislature. Organizers of a major gamers' convention and a large church gathering say they're considering moving events from Indianapolis over a bill that critics say could legalize discrimination against gays. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
A window sticker on a downtown Indianapolis business, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, shows its objection to the Religious Freedom bill passed by the Indiana legislature. Organizers of a major gamers' convention and a large church gathering say they're considering moving events from Indianapolis over a bill that critics say could legalize discrimination against gays. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some Indiana communities are trying to make clear that they’re welcoming to the LGBT community after recent debate over the state’s new religious objections law.

Amid criticism that the law could sanction discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, Republicans last week scrambled to clarify that that the law cannot be used as a defense by businesses to deny services.

However, New Albany Councilman Bob Caesar said he still believes the law has problems. He was among councilors in that southern Indiana community passing a resolution 8-0 Monday night calling for the repeal of the religious objections law.

“I just think it will lead to more and more discrimination in time,” Caesar said.

Meanwhile, the Muncie City Council and the Delaware County commissioners, also in Muncie, approved resolutions affirming that their communities are welcoming regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“If you come to Muncie … and you’re law-abiding … you’re welcome here,” said Mayor Dennis Tyler, who called for the resolution last week.

West Lafayette on Monday passed a resolution reaffirming its commitment to its human relations ordinances in the city that’s home to Purdue University.

In Evansville, a group of City Council members plan to offer a resolution expressing concerns over the new state law. Even after the General Assembly clarified the statute, Councilwoman Missy Mosby said she’s still hearing concerns from constituents.

“I have huge concerns for what this is going to do for the community,” Mosby said.

In Terre Haute, City Councilman George Azar said at a candidate forum he has been reviewing nondiscrimination language in a city ordinance to see if it provides protections for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals.

 

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