Anderson latest city to pass local gay rights ordinance

Officials in another Indiana city have approved banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity ahead of an expected debate in the state Legislature over whether to pass a statewide law that supersedes any local ordinance.

The Anderson City Council voted unanimously Thursday to extend local protections on housing, education, employment and public accommodations. Two residents spoke against the proposal, but Councilman Russ Willis said laws are sometimes needed so people do what is right, The Herald Bulletin reported.

Carmel, Columbus, Terre Haute and Hammond are among the cities that have adopted similar protections since last spring's uproar over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

A bill proposed by Senate Republicans would extend state civil rights protections to LGBT people, allowing exemptions for religious institutions and some small businesses. The bill would bar enforcement of stricter local ordinances.

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