Portage mayor decides not to sign resolution calling for RFRA repeal, NWI Times

Portage Mayor James Snyder announced Friday he would not sign a resolution calling for the repeal of the state’s original Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Portage City Council on April 7 approved a resolution asking the state to repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Snyder issued a written statement saying he would have signed an alternative version, which he called “less political and broader in nature” than the version passed by the council.

“The resolution was hastily written, grammatically incorrect, used old quotes, and even dignified the Chicago mayor’s appeal to take away potential Portage jobs. Instead of uniting our residents after Indianapolis divided our communities, the City Council chose to pile on the divisiveness without even letting the residents debate or read the resolution,” Snyder wrote.

Councilman Mark Oprisko’s resolution cited several issues that arose after Pence signed the original bill, including statements from NCAA President Mark Emmert, statements from some of Indiana’s largest businesses who came out in opposition to RFRA and others. The resolution centered on RFRA’s repeal issues regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

Councilman Ted Uzelac, a Republican, introduced his own resolution. It too called for the repeal of RFRA, but for different reasons.

Oprisko’s resolution was approved 5-2 with council members Sue Lynch, Elizabeth Modesto, Pat Clem and Matt Scheurer agreeing.

Councilman John Cannon voted against both resolutions, saying he received the resolutions later than required for consideration and wanted 30 days to get constituent feedback on the matter.

Snyder urged the council to take a less political approach to the topic and said that by not signing the resolution, Portage residents would have the opportunity to read what it says and speak on it at the next City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 5 at City Hall.

Portage mayor decides not to sign resolution calling for RFRA repeal