Seattle Mayor bans city-funded travel to Indiana

Alison Morrow reports

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is banning city-funded travel to Indiana. He plans to sign an executive order next week.

"Laws that say you can discriminate have no place in this country," he told reporters Saturday.

Indiana's governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week. It protects businesses from lawsuits if they refuse service to customers based on religious values.

It's received national criticism for opening the legal door to discrimination against LGBT people.

Murray's opinion on the order has company. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is making a similar move.

Businesses like Angie's List are canceling plans for expansion in the state. Some liken the RFRA to lunch counter segregation based on race.

"I think it's dumb Indiana passed a law like that," Amanda Clark said.

Though Clark is opposed to the RFRA, she's also a Seattle resident who questions the efficacy of Murray's decision.

The city is still evaluating how often officials travel to Indiana. It does nothing to prevent private dollars from investing there.

"I think it's a childish stab, like, 'I don't want people going to that state,'" Clark said.

Seattle tax-payers disagree about the decision. Some believe Murray is acting proactively against a discriminatory state law by enacting economic sanctions. Others support the freedom of religious choice for business owners, even if those choices aren't what they would choose.

This isn't personal, Murray says. He'd do the same for other groups of people like women and racial minorities and likens Indiana's law to the the same discrimination outlawed in 1964.

"I'm not doing this because I'm a gay man," he said. "You cannot say, 'You can't come into my restaurant because you're black and it's my religious belief not to serve you. That is a settled question."

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is scheduled to be held in Indiana next year, but Mayor Murray plans to request a change of venue if the RFRA is still in place.


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