Author Topic: Clarify home rule  (Read 1398 times)

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Clarify home rule
« on: July 12, 2006, 11:31:55 am »
When state language is vague, local units of government don’t know how to act.

But the issue isn’t always so clear.

The state has a civil rights statute, but it does not cover gays, lesbians, bisexuals or “transgender” individuals. Under our home rule provisions, say some GLBT advocates, cities and counties are perfectly free to go beyond the state’s protected classes. No, say opponents, operating “in the manner prescribed,” local governments can go no further than the state does.

That debate raged in recent weeks as South Bend considered adding GLBT to its human rights ordinance, which was defeated 5-4 Monday night. “Before cities could add an area not currently authorized, the Indiana state law would have to be amended,” South Bend City Council President Timothy Rouse told The South Bend Tribune. “Indiana’s home rule authority does not enable a city to violate a state law.”