It brought to close a sometimes contentious debate about civil rights in a conservative-dominated community full of affluence. It also signaled that times are changing in Indiana.
The new ordinance adds Carmel to the ever-growing list of communities passing ordinances such as this one to prevent LGBT folks from discriminated against within the city limits. It’s a welcome sign of inclusivity and stands directly opposite from the divisiveness RFRA represents.
It wasn’t easy. Initially seen almost as a slam dunk, Carmel was descended upon by opposition to the ordinance. What had been co-sponsored by six of the seven Carmel City Councillors at one point. It passed with a one vote margin, 4-3. Needless to say, the opposition wasn’t happy and Micah Clark, Curt Smith, and Eric Miller all were in the house to see it up close.
This ordinance passed because the good people of Carmel stood up and said they wanted it. They supported Mayor Jim Brainard's call and pushed this ordinance through. It’s going to take this kind of effort across Indiana to get these ordinances passed because Clark, Smith, Miller, and others that oppose them won’t stop. They will continue to tell their tales of woe and misery about these types of ordinances. The good news is that, more often than not, the right side is winning these arguments and those cloaking themselves in religion are losing.
Times have changed, and people are too. Good job Carmel. May the State of Indiana follow your example.