After Indiana amends law, Minneapolis drops ban idea

Updated: 5:30 p.m. | Posted: 11:08 a.m.

The Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution Friday urging states to pass laws that explicitly protect LGBT citizens from discrimination.

The council had been scheduled to consider a resolution banning all publicly funded city employee travel to Indiana after that state passed a "religious freedom" bill seen as allowing discrimination against gay people.

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But the Indiana Legislature amended the bill on Thursday to state that it doesn't allow discrimination. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a similar compromise bill into law on Thursday.

The developments in Indiana led the council to pass an amended resolution that "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."

Earlier in the week, Mayor Betsy Hodges condemned Indiana's law and called for the City Council to ban official travel. At Friday's council meeting, Hodges said governmental travel bans and other protests had helped change Indiana's and Arkansas' laws.

"Things are still not where we would want them to be in Indiana and other states around the country," Hodges said. "I appreciate that this resolution addresses that and makes that statement clearly, while understanding that Indiana, at least now, is positioned similarly to other states in the country, all of whom we want to proactively support LGBT people."

Other states and cities had banned nonessential travel to Indiana following the original passage of the bill. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton had said that he'd consider a state travel ban as well.

Friday afternoon, Dayton's office issued a statement from the governor saying Indiana's amended law did 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."

Earlier in the week, the Minneapolis Fire Department declined to send representatives to an annual conference in Indiana. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman criticized the Indiana law but stopped short of calling for a travel ban.