2017 AVMA Convention Stays in Indiana

AVMA board of directors supports recent changes to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The American Veterinary Medical Association will hold its 2017 convention in Indianapolis as planned after state legislators revised a controversial law that some said would have allowed businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Days before changes to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act were signed into law April 2, AVMA issued a statement that the law posed “many unsettling questions” and left the organization “concerned that not all of our attendees will be welcomed in Indiana.”

The possibility of moving the convention out of Indianapolis was raised, but the AVMA board of directors reaffirmed the schedule during a meeting last week.

“Our board discussed the concerns that had been expressed and the changes made by the Indiana state legislature to address the concerns,” the organization stated Tuesday in its AVMA@Work blog. “The board received input from the Lesbian and Gay Veterinary Medical Association regarding their view on the legislative fix. The AVMA Convention Division staff have spoken with representatives of the Indiana Convention Center, who expressed their continued commitment to welcome all attendees with open arms.

“The board reviewed the declaration of non-discrimination signed by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and the statement from the Indy Chamber, assuring continued commitment to non-discriminatory practices.

“Based on all of this input and Indianapolis’ clear desire and commitment to protect against discrimination and welcome all with their famous ‘Hoosier Hospitality,’ we’ve decided to keep the 2017 annual convention in Indianapolis as scheduled. Everyone is welcome, and we hope that you’ll join us there.”

The 2015 and 2016 conventions will take place in Boston and San Antonio, respectively.

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