Fire Chief cancels travel plans to Indiana conference at mayor’s request

Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel has canceled a trip to Indiana for a conference later this month at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges.

Hodges asked him to cancel the plans in light of the state’s recent adoption of a law that allows discrimination against LGBT people — legislation that has ignited a firestorm of criticism.

The mayor has also urged the City Council to adopt a policy banning the use of city funds for business travel to Indiana.

“Minneapolis is a welcoming, inclusive city that respects and values the contributions and the safety of everyone who lives, works, and visits here, and the City of Minneapolis as an employer respects and values the same in our employees,” Hodges said in a statement released Wednesday. “I cannot in good conscience support any official travel to Indiana in light of its enacting a law that makes discrimination legal, particularly against LGBT people.

She also commended Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and the city’s City-Council Council for urging Gov. Mike Pence and the state’s General Assembly to repeal the law or enact new laws protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.

“Until the Governor and the Legislature repeal the law, enact protections for LGBT people, or both, I don’t think we should betray Minneapolis residents’ values by spending public dollars in Indiana, or put Minneapolis public employees at risk there,” Hodges said.