Twin Cities mayors say Indiana should reverse ‘religious objections’ law

The mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in a joint statement that the new Indiana “religious objections law” should be reversed. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said they “stand with the people of Indiana who refuse to support laws that discriminate against its citizens.”

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard also said today that the law should be repealed or revised. According to NPR:

Ballard says that while the law might be seen as acceptable on its own terms, when it’s combined with Indiana’s lack of legal protections against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, “then it has a problem.” He suggested that people outside the state might not understand the situation.

The  text of the Hodges-Coleman statement:

We wish to express our unity with the cities in Indiana and across other states where residents, the LGBT community, and mayors are working hard to build inclusive and welcoming communities like ours, but where the negative actions of state legislators and governors have made that important work significantly harder. We faced similar challenges in our state legislature just a few years ago, but we united together and became the 12th state in the nation to legalize marriage for same-sex couples.

While the Governor of Indiana continues to defend his bill, we will stand with the people of Indiana who refuse to support laws that discriminate against its citizens. Legislation that supports discrimination against any citizen of the United States doesn’t need further clarity, it needs to be reversed.

Here in the Twin Cities, we believe that prosperity and growth happen when everyone is welcomed and included in our future.

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Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/31/2015 - 11:31 am.

    This law isn’t about “the gay community”

    This law is about the “religious community.”

    Would the mayors prosecute a Muslim butcher for refusing to sell Kosher meats? Would the mayors prosecute a Jewish florist for refusing to provide flowers for an anti-Semite’s funeral?

    That’s what this law and the 20 other like it do. It protects people of religious beliefs from being compelled by government to perform a service that is antithetical to their religious beliefs.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/31/2015 - 11:46 am.

      How about . . .

      Your examples are absurd, especially the example of the butcher. No one is saying a butcher would have to conform to the dictates of another religion’s practices. Similarly, anti-semitism is not a religion.

      Let’s ask how you feel about other protections:

      Do we protect Muslim cashiers from being fired if they refuse to handle pork?

      Do we take away the licenses of Muslim cab drivers if they refuse to accept fares with service dogs, or who are carrying alcohol?

      Will we allow Rastafarians to cultivate marijuana?

      Will you be accepting of Santerian neighbors sacrificing animals?

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/31/2015 - 12:18 pm.

        If we had such a law

        in this state that protects 1st Amendment rights like this one does?

        Yes, No, Yes, Yes.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/31/2015 - 12:19 pm.

        Your examples are absurd, especially the one about cashiers handling pork.

        Cashiers are employees, hired to do a job. If they have religious objections to the job our wonderful capitalist Democracy allows them to simply find one more suitable, or better yet, start their own business. That same system allows people to hire a cabdriver that will transport their booze.

        As with so many leftist outrages, this one is built on thin air.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/31/2015 - 12:48 pm.


          I don’t see the difference. How about: A cashier had a religious objection to waiting on obviously gay customers? I have a feeling you would be OK with that, so let’s try a different one: a businessperson who is a member of a fundamentalist Protestant denomination refuses to serve Roman Catholics, because the Papacy is the antichrist. Would you allow that?

          • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/31/2015 - 02:18 pm.

            When all analogies come up empty…

            Maybe it’s time to re-think your position altogether.

            The cashier is hired to do a job as described by the employer. If they don’t want to wait on homosexual customers, or Catholics, and the employer has no problem serving them, then the cashier is free to find another job or start their own business which declines Catholic or homosexual business.

            It’s not difficult to understand.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/31/2015 - 04:55 pm.


              You would pretty much eliminate any anti-discrimination laws altogether with this line of reasoning.

              If a cashier were fired for refusing to wait on a Catholic on religious grounds, the Indiana law could be read as giving them a cause of action against the employer. It’s not a matter of going somewhere else.

              I can come up with even more examples, if you like. How about religious beliefs that mandate racism? Suppose a business had a religious objection to mixed-race marriages? Could they deny service to Clarence Thomas?

              Discrimination is still discrimination, and it is no more justifiable because someone thinks that they would be participating in a sinful act by baking a cake.

              • Submitted by Matt Haas on 03/31/2015 - 08:53 pm.

                Not to worry

                These folks won’t be satisfied until they can secure a whole separate economy for themselves, free of any undesired, sinful influences. Personally, the conspiricist in me thinks they are hewing towards a particular brand of apocalyptic mythology, the one about the whole persecution of the Christians deal. What better way to stave off economic slavery to the beast than cutting a personal economy, created for , and ran by, true believers of your own personal stripe. But it could be they just really don’t like gay folks too.

            • Submitted by Matt Haas on 03/31/2015 - 08:48 pm.

              Just so we’re clear

              The employer, and or the business (in the case of the general public) will be required to state this upon offer of hire, or on the premises correct? Since this is all OK, I should be able to have an informed opinion on whether or not to patronize or work for someone depending on whom they choose to despise. After all, if they are so dedicated towards their bigotry as to fire or decline sales from those they choose to discriminate against, they should have no problem making it known to the world as clearly as possible.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 03/31/2015 - 08:43 pm.

      Absurd as usual

      But, um you do realize the whole not selling pork thing is based on the same law from the old testament right? That Islam is another branch on the Abrahamic tree, present day politics aside? They’d be quite happy selling Kosher meat as that is the whole point of a halal. Ignorance knows no bounds.

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