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The Bloomington city council took a stand against the Religion Freedom Restoration Act last night. The entire Council co-sponsored a resolution opposing the law. Council member Darryl Neher read the resolution aloud during the meeting. He called for it to be sent to state leaders, including Governor Pence and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie.
Michael Mcrobbie, reading the resolution, states that “The Bloomington City Council opposes and urges repeal of RFRA”.
The council also expressed concern that the law defines “individual” to include corporations and businesses. There are clauses in Bloomington’s human rights ordinance regarding sexual orientation and gender identity but no statewide protected class measures. Several citizens spoke during public comment to thank the council for the gesture. Melanie Davis said she recently moved to Bloomington with her daughter and appreciates the cultural acceptance she has found locally.
Melanie expressed her gratitude with the following statement, “I’d always heard what a wonderful this was,and its turning out to be just such a place and I want to say how proud I am of all of you and of the city and the people in it for their celebration and true inclusion of diverse groups people”
While Pence has been on the national news circuit to say that RFRA has a perception problem, Bloomington resident C.W. Poole said that he believes the law was intentionally discriminatory. Poole said it is right for the council to put pressure on the Governor to repeal the law.
“I think it was written exactly what they wanted to do” Poole expressed passionately. He continued by saying “The intent was to discriminate”.
Many of the Council members referred to the national media response to the law, saying it has shed an unfair negative light on the state. Councilmember Susan Sandberg scolded Hoosiers for their apparent apathy when it comes to electing their leaders.
“Its been embarrassing”, Susan Sandberg disdainfully exclaimed about the amount of negative light Indiana has been receiving in lieu of the new bill.
There was clapping throughout the council chambers as the resolution passed unanimously.