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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - The Terre Haute City Council has approved adding sexual orientation and gender identity to its local anti-discrimination ordinance.

Council members voted 7-0 Thursday to extend protections that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and other areas.

City Human Relations Commission director Jeff Lorick told council members that the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity will send the message that the 60,000-person city is a welcoming community.

The Tribune-Star reports ( ) that all City Council members sponsored the proposal following this spring's national outcry over Indiana's new religious objections law, which critics considered anti-gay.

Sexual orientation is also included in civil rights ordinances in such cities as Indianapolis, South Bend, Evansville and Bloomington. Officials in cities including Elkhart, Hammond and Columbus are considering similar proposals.