Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges credits economic pressure from protesters, her city and other cities for the Indiana legislature’s decision to revise its “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Hodges and many others said the recently passed law gave individuals and businesses in Indiana the right to discriminate against a person because of that person’s sexual orientation. That law was amended late yesterday to include protections for the LGBT community.
The Minneapolis City Council was poised to suspend all city-financed travel to Indiana, but instead passed a resolution that called on Indiana and 27 other states to offer protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in housing, employment and public accommodations. The resolution also calls on those states to establish this group of people as a protected class, as Minnesota has.
In a press release Hodges said, “the actions we took today and this week in response to Indiana’s law made a difference.”
“Minneapolis is pleased that Indiana amended their law but much remains to be done across the country to include protection from discrimination for LGBT citizens,” said City Council President Barbara Johnson, who authored the resolution. “We are happy to support Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and the Indianapolis City-County Council as they call for changes to State law.”
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton echoed the Minneapolis City Council’s sentiment.
“I am proud of Minnesota for the progress we have achieved to protect the rights and dignity of all people in our state,” Dayton said in a press release. “The most recent actions taken by the Governor and Legislature of Indiana may conform to the standards of federal law, but they do not meet the high standards of equal protection we have enacted in Minnesota. Still, based upon their corrective actions, I do not believe a travel ban to Indiana is necessary at this time.”
Resolution wording, video of the discussion and state-by-state LGBT protection laws
The full resolution is available on the City of Minneapolis website, but here is a portion:
Therefore, Be It Resolved by The City Council of The City of Minneapolis:
That the Minneapolis City Council hereby affirms the City’s commitment to civil rights and ensuring equity for all people in Minneapolis and beyond and calls on the State of Indiana as well as the other twenty-seven states in the nation which offer no protections in housing, employment, and public accommodations to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens, to establish this group of people as a protected class and put into place these protections as quickly as possible and to then vigorously enforce and protect the civil rights of all people within their borders regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected class status and to prevent discrimination against any protected group.
Video at top: Council discusses and passes resolution
Below:States that do and don’t protect LGBT rights for housing and employment