Hammond Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. announced today that he and the City of Hammond are now, and have always been, against discrimination of any kind, whether in the City of Hammond, the State of Indiana or the United States of America.
City of Hammond Resolution R14-01 holds that legislation such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law last week by Governor Pence, violates the basic due process and equal protection principles of the Constitution and results in disparate treatment of specific groups of citizens. Mayor McDermott stated, “I want to be clear. What the governor signed into law last week has no place in Hammond. We welcome everyone and we are open for business to everyone.”
For example, Hammond offers health insurance benefits to the spouse and children of employees in same sex marriages. Prior to Indiana’s same sex marriage ban being struck down by the courts, the city recognized marriage licenses from other states for health insurance eligibility. Hammond took this action in the interests of compassion and diversity. Hammond has always been proud of our community and our place in the northwest Indiana and Chicagoland marketplace.
Hammond’s Economic Development department is open to anyone and everyone, and welcomes LGBT businesses and their employees to our City. The City of Hammond does not, and will not allow discrimination against anyone, despite Governor Pence’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. If you are a business owner who promotes discrimination or disparate treatment of different groups of individuals, Hammond is not the place for your business.
“I have always believed that the people of Indiana are welcoming and compassionate. The law that was signed by the governor last week is not the Indiana that I know,” stated Mayor McDermott. “I want people around the country to know that Governor Pence’s agenda and statements don’t speak for all Hoosiers. RFRA is an embarrassment and has no place in our city.”