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By Eric Berman
Indy’s last two mayors and its next one are calling on the state to join the capital city in extending civil rights protections to gays and lesbians.
Bart Peterson, Greg Ballard and Joe Hogsett gathered to mark the 10thanniversary of Peterson’s signing of the ordinance, and to argue that it proves the state has nothing to fear from similar protections. Peterson notes the same religious and practical objections were raised in 2005, at a time when public opinion on the issue was very different — and says none of the predictions of dire consequences have come true.
Ballard and Hogsett say the ordinance makes a critical statement about Indianapolis — Hogsett says the ordinance calls on residents “to love our neighbor as we love our city.”
Ballard was a vocal opponent of this year’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which activists charge was an attempt to legitimize discrimination. Hogsett says he intends to pick up the torch from Ballard and lobby for civil rights protections.
Ballard, Peterson and the other three living mayors of Indianapolis — Richard Lugar, William Hudnut and Steve Goldsmith — signed a joint letter urging legislators not to pass RFRA. Ballard and Peterson say they’ll leave Hogsett to take the lead in 2016’s debate, but will be available to help if he asks.SHARE THIS STORY