Bloomington changes names of two city holidays to ‘better reflect cultural sensitivity’

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – From now on, the city of Bloomington will refer to two paid holidays differently in an effort to respect differing cultures.

The city will be calling Columbus Day “Fall Holiday” and Good Friday “Spring Holiday.”

It is a decision that will only affect the calendars of 700 city of Bloomington employees and is now the talk of the town.

“I think that it is a courteous and respectful thing to do for various populations,” said Bloomington resident Emily Nehus.

“Columbus Day…why change Columbus Day?,” said another resident Mike Carson.

The reason? Mayor John Hamilton said the names will “better reflect cultural sensitivity in the workplace.” The decision comes after some pushback from people who opposed the city posting closing signs referencing these holidays on the front doors of Bloomington City Hall.

“As a mayor we are in charge of government. We do not set religious policies, we are not supposed to be part of religion and we are just trying to make sure that our government is open to all people and inclusive,” said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.

Columbus Day was established to celebrate Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the “new world.” Good Friday, part of Christians’ celebration of Easter, commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is traditionally a day of fasting and penance. The City of Bloomington wants everyone to continue to celebrate those holidays as they see fit. City officials say the only major change will be on the calendar.

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