Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates is taking a strong public stance against Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Bates is the latest Bay Area Mayor to condemn the "religious freedom" law that has been widely received as a loophole for businesses to legally discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
“I hope my fellow citizens will join the growing boycott of Indiana as long as its intolerant Religious Freedom Restoration Act remains in effect," Bates said in a statement issued on Thursday. "I find it abhorrent that a state would enact legislation allowing businesses and individuals to claim religion as an excuse to discriminate against people who are gay. Such a law promotes intolerance and permits a person's rights to be violated on the basis of sexual orientation. I ask that people not travel to Indiana or do business with companies that are headquartered there as long as this injustice continues."
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced on Tuesday that she had banned city travel in Indiana to protest the law, following in the footsteps of cities including San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Portland, Oregon and Washington state, Connecticut, and New York.
Bates expects the Berkeley City Council to go on record against the RFRA when it meets on April 28.
“Councilmember Darryl Moore plans to introduce an item banning publicly funded non-essential travel to Indiana until the law is repealed and urging the City Manager to not make new contracts with businesses headquartered there and to consider discontinuing existing contracts with such businesses,” he said.