On Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called on the Minneapolis City Council to enact a ban on city-funded travel to Indiana in the wake of a “religious freedom” law that was enacted in that state in late March. According to a statement by Council President Barb Johnson, the council will take up the issue at its meeting on Friday.
“Indianapolis is one of our peer cities and chief competitors when it comes to drawing tourism and convention business, so we understand how this new law makes it challenging for them draw people to their state,” Johnson said in a statement. “While we cannot support using City of Minneapolis resources to travel to Indiana at this point, we do want to underscore our support for Mayor Ballard and the City of Indianapolis in their efforts to do away with this onerous new law.”
Because Indiana’s “religious freedom” law could be used by businesses to turn away same-sex couples, a national outcry has grown in opposition. San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and the District of Columbia have already banned city-funds for official travel to the state. The state’s of Vermont, Connecticut, New York, and Washington have enacted partial or complete bans on state-funded travel to Indiana. On Wednesday, Gov. Mark Dayton signaled that his administration is considering doing the same.