Church cancels 2017 Indianapolis convention over new law

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A furor over a new Indiana law that has raised the specter of discrimination has cost Indianapolis its second convention in less than a week.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) announced Wednesday that it would seek a new venue for its 2017 General Assembly.

The organization, a mainline Protestant Christian group that has been headquartered in Indianapolis for nearly 100 years, draws about 6,000 visitors to its general assemblies, which take place every other year.

The church's General Board said the decision stemmed from concerns that Indiana's new "religious freedom" law and the absence of state civil rights protections for some citizens could result in attendees being denied services based on a business owner's religious beliefs.

Critics fear the law could allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. Gov. Mike Pence and lawmakers are working to clarify the language to address those concerns.

The AFSCME public employees union earlier canceled a women's convention in Indianapolis in October.


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