Anderson, Indiana City Council has
unanimously approved an ordinance extending legal protections to the
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
last week, the ordinance adds sexual orientation and gender
identity to a list of classes protected from discrimination in the
areas of housing, employment and public accommodations.
According to the Human Rights Campaign
(HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, almost 20 Indiana
cities, including Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Columbus and South Bend,
have approved similar ordinances.
Republican Governor Mike Pence's
signing of a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)
earlier this year led to several companies threatening to boycott the
state, arguing that it would allow businesses to turn away gay and
lesbian couples. It was seen as a Republican response to defeat of
Indiana's ban on gay marriage and the unraveling of a proposed
constitutional amendment aimed at strengthening its definition of
marriage as a heterosexual union.
Pence at first defended the law, but
later asked lawmakers to “fix” it with an amendment which states
that it cannot be used to discriminate.
Two groups opposed to LGBT rights
recently filed a legal challenge to Pence's “fix,” arguing that
it violates their religious liberties and freedom of conscience. The
lawsuit also challenges several city ordinances similar to the one
approved by Anderson.