Seattle mayor signs Indiana travel ban in protest of law

Three employee trips to Indiana scheduled for 2015 have been cancelled.

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed an order Tuesday banning city employees from traveling to Indiana on city business. The order comes as more criticism is thrown at Indiana's governor for signing a bill into law that many insist supports discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The Indiana law is called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Seattle joins San Francisco in banning official travel to Indiana. Washington Governor Jay Inslee followed Seattle's lead Monday, announcing the same ban to members of his administration.

Murray says he expects more cities and states to do the same.

"I know there's more than just Seattle and San Francisco," said Murray. "This is an attempt to go further back to a time that I don't think this country wants to go back to."

Three Seattle-funded trips to Indiana slated for 2015 have been canceled. They include trips for the Seattle Police Department, the Department of Education and the Finance and Administrative Services Department.

If the law is still in place by 2016, Murray says he will skip the 2016 U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting which is set to be held in Indianapolis.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence continued to defend the RFRA late Monday saying the law is one of inclusion and respecting religious liberties. There is now a Republican-led effort is underway in the Indiana General Assembly to "clarify the law," while Indiana Democrats and some Republicans say it's time to simply repeal the law.

"Businesses need the brightest, most talented people to be successful," said Murray. "They don't want to be in a place where people discriminate. It's not good for business. I think we're continuing to grow as a nation when it comes to issues of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender people."

Tuesday's front page of The Indianapolis Star, the largest newspaper in Indiana, proclaimed a bold statement with a headline of "Fix This Now."


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