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Conventions Will Return To Indy After RFRA Fix

David and Ruth S

The board of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, has decided to keep its annual assembly in Indianapolis, two weeks after voting to seek another venue. 

The denomination’s General Minister and President, Sharon Watkins, says the amendments to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act made a difference.

“We were pleasantly surprised by how they did address the concerns that we had with RFRA and that this law cannot be used to open the door to the kind of discrimination that we feared,” Watkins says.

The Disciples of Christ, a mainline protestant Christian denomination that has headquarters in Indy, was one of the first groups to ask Gov. Mike Pence not to sign the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and threatened to move its convention, which is expected to generate nearly $6 million in revenue for the city.

Chris Gahl, VP of marketing and communication for Visit Indy says they’ve been working overtime to let concerned organizations, like the Disciples, know about the RFRA fix.

“We’ve been on the phone every day to work with them and courting them back to reassure them that Indianapolis welcomes all,” Gahl says.  

Gahl says the only other convention that cancelled because of the law, the AFSCME Women’s Conference, has also announced plans to return to Indy.

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