Members of the Minneapolis Fire Department won't make a planned trip for a conference in Indianapolis, after Mayor Betsy Hodges asked for a moratorium on city funded travel to Indiana
Hodges said Wednesday in a news release that she wants to hold off on official travel to the state because of a recently passed law. Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act prevents the government from interfering with people's religious beliefs. Hodges and others say it will allow businesses to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Fire Chief John Fruetel has already canceled plans for his staff to attend a conference in late April, and the mayor has asked the City Council to pass a resolution banning city funds from being spent on travel to Indiana.
Late Wednesday, officials announced that Council President Barb Johnson will introduce such a plan at the council's Friday meeting.
"Until the Governor and the Legislature repeal the law, enact protections for LGBT people, or both, I don’t think we should betray Minneapolis residents’ values by spending public dollars in Indiana, or put Minneapolis public employees at risk there," Hodges said in a statement.
[Update: The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted Wednesday night to ban all staff travel to Indiana effective May 1.]