San Francisco mayor bans trips to Indiana over anti-gay law

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Mayor of San Francisco has banned all city-funded trips to the state of Indiana, after it enacted an anti-gay law.

The Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, today signed into law the controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, which gives people the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion.

The bill allows organisations, including businesses and churches, to refuse service to anyone on religious grounds. Nineteen other states have similar laws, and many others have proposals making their way through the legislature.

In response, the Mayor of San Francisco, California has placed a ban on taxpayer-funded trips to the state.

Mayor Edwin Lee told the Indianapolis Star: “We stand united as San Franciscans to condemn Indiana’s new discriminatory law, and will work together to protect the civil rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults.

“San Francisco taxpayers will not subsidize legally sanctioned-discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people by the state of Indiana.”

Governor Pence has denied the law is anti-gay, saying: “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it.

“In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved.

“Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith.”

Proposals were drawn up last month in San Francisco for a ‘leather-themed’ park to celebrate the LGBT and Leather communities.

Initial community plans propose creation of the new plaza in San Francisco’s South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, outside the Eagle Bar.