Valparaiso approves LGBT protections

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By: Associated Press

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a northwestern Indiana city have approved a local ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Valparaiso City Council voted 5-2 Monday night to become the latest Indiana community with such an ordinance after a push for statewide protections failed in the Legislature this year.

The Valparaiso council dropped a religious exemption for business with 10 or fewer employees. The (Munster) Times reports Republican Councilman Matt Murphy says that caused him to vote against the ordinance even though it will protect against discrimination.

Opponents maintain the ordinance isn’t justified by actual discrimination happening.

Munster, Kokomo, Carmel and Columbus are among communities adopting similar protections since last year’s uproar over Indiana’s religious objections law, which opponents say sanctioned discrimination against gays.