Oakland City Council will offer resolution opposing Indiana’s religious freedom law

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has already banned city government travel to Indiana over passage of its controversial new religious freedom law, which critics say will foster discrimination against members of the LGBT community and other minority groups.

Now, Councilmembers Larry Reid and Rebecca Kaplan are planning an Oakland City Council resolution registering legislative opposition to the law, known as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

The law allows businesses to deny service to certain groups based on the proprietor’s religious preference. For instance, under the law, a shop owner could deny service to a gay man because it conflicts with the owner’s religious ideas.

Reid, who is also president pro tem of the council, said he respects equal treatment of people regardless of their sexual orientation or religion. “As a man of faith, I know that my belief does not require me to oppress another,” said Reid. “I encourage all people of conscience to oppose this law, and I seek to have the City of Oakland officially oppose it.”

Vice Mayor Kaplan, who married her partner last year, urged businesses and special events to come to Oakland, which boasts one of the highest numbers of gay and lesbian residents in the country.

The earliest the resolution can be approved is at the next city council following the spring break on April 21.