Another Indiana city could approve civil rights protections for the LGBT community this evening.
The Columbus City Council is scheduled to take a final vote tonight on a law that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It’s expected to pass, as the all-Republican council unanimously supported moving the measure forward at its last meeting two weeks ago.
If it is approved, Columbus would be the fifth city and sixth local government to approve such a law – the others are Indianapolis-Marion County, Bloomington, Evansville, South Bend and Monroe County.
Some social conservatives in Governor Pence’s hometown criticized the proposal as discriminatory against Christian business owners whom they claim could be forced into violating their religious beliefs.
But the measure was pushed by Columbus’s largest employer – Cummins, which says the city should be open and welcoming to anyone who wants to work and live there, a similar argument made by much of the state’s business leaders during this year’s legislative debate over the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Some of the business community want a statewide anti-discrimination law to be discussed next session.
Carmel’s City Council will discuss an LGBT protection law at a finance committee meeting on Thursday – it is supported by six of its seven council members.
The city councils in Elkhart and Goshen recently delayed action on similar laws, though Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman signed an executive order adding protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to the city government’s hiring policies.