Public relations firm hired by Indiana after RFRA suggested state sponsorship of photo essay in gay pride magazine

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A global public relations firm started a crisis-monitoring service the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and suggested the state sponsor a photo essay in a gay pride magazine following last year’s national uproar over the religious objections law.

Those are among the topics The Indianapolis Star reports were discussed in 1,100 pages of documents released by the IEDC. That followed a public records request regarding Gov. Mike Pence’s decision to hire New York-based Porter Novelli last spring, then fire the firm in July.

The state agency’s release includes hundreds of partially or completely redacted pages and withheld 285 pages regarding Porter Novelli’s work for which the firm charged $365,000.

Agency attorney Chris Cotterill says the withheld records included state marketing plans and trade secrets.

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