The Mayor of Dayton, Nan Whaley, was in Columbus Wednesday to join Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and other city leaders in inviting Hoosier State businesses to hop the border and invest in Ohio. Whaley took the opportunity to contrast Ohio as a state that says no to discrimination with neighboring Indiana, where Gov. Mike Pence signed into law last week a so-called religious freedom bill that has set Indiana burning.
Pence defends the bill, saying it’s about empowering people to do business as they please. Critics. from the business community to the civic sector, argue it’s a ruse that allows businesses to legally discriminate against gay and lesbian couples.
Even though Gov. Pence is asking lawmakers to fix the mess they passed and he signed into law, the state’s image is already sporting a black eye, which won’t be healed even with a repeal that state leaders say won’ t happen. Bill opponents called for an immediate fix, and even the conservative Indianapolis Star newspaper seared the collective outrage over it into their front page headline “Fix This Now.”
Whaley and Brown used Indiana’s troubles to contrast Ohio as a state that “says no to discrimination” and yes to we’re “open to all.”
Dayton, Ohio was recently ranked the #1 LGBT friendly city in the U.S..