- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) - A prominent conservative lobbyist is working to defeat proposals in two northern Indiana cities for anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Eric Miller, executive director of Indianapolis-based Advance America, was a leading supporter of Indiana’s religious objection law. He told about 100 people at an Elkhart church Tuesday that strong opposition of the Elkhart and Goshen proposals would hurt a push for similar statewide sexual orientation protections.

“The homosexual agenda has now come to Elkhart County,” Miller told churchgoers at Calvary Assembly. “These two ordinances are wrong. These two ordinances need to be defeated.”

Miller urged the congregation to send emails and make phone calls to city council members to voice their opposition, The Elkhart Truth (http://bit.ly/1K7mbL1 ) reported.

“This is coming to Elkhart. This is now. You’re in the middle of this and you can make a difference,” he said. “If we stop it in Elkhart and Goshen now, that can stop it at the state level.”

Mayors Dick Moore of Elkhart and Allan Kauffman of Goshen believe the broader protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals would present their cities as welcoming communities.

In Elkhart, the measure was introduced as state lawmakers debated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which eventually was passed. But this is the second time such a measure is being considered in Goshen, where the council debated a civil rights ordinance for the LGBT community in 2009, but it was defeated.

The Goshen City Council could debate the proposal July 21, while the Elkhart City Council likely won’t take it up until next month.

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Information from: The Elkhart Truth, http://www.elkharttruth.com

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