PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland City Council planned to pass an anti-Donald Trump resolution, but has changed it on the advice of the Secretary of State's Office.
The resolution passed by the City Council on Wednesday focuses more on supporting the Muslim and immigrant community. It still includes a thinly veiled reference to Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., but it doesn't name the candidate outright.
City officials said the Secretary of State told them a staff-prepared resolution should not use Trump's name because state election law prohibits public employee time from being used to support or oppose a political candidate.
Although Trump hasn't technically filed as a candidate in Oregon, said the mayor's spokeswoman Sara Hottman, the Secretary of State was not comfortable saying Trump is not a candidate.
The city's original resolution aimed to "censure Donald Trump" and referred directly to Trump using the media "as a means of spouting vitriolic and divisive comments that have crossed the line into fearmongering and racism."
The resolution that passed says Portland doesn't tolerate hate speech and welcomes all immigrants and refugees. It says Portland has greatly benefited from newcomers of all religious backgrounds. The resolution also calls the demands for a ban on Muslims "unconscionable."
Muslims in Oregon and around the nation say they have faced a backlash after the recent Islamic State attacks in Paris and the San Bernardino shootings in California, carried out by a Muslim husband and wife.
About 20,000 Muslims live in the Portland metro area, according to the resolution.
In recent weeks, a number of Republican presidential contenders have proposed restrictions on Syrian refugees, including suggesting a preference for Christians seeking asylum.
Earlier this month, Trump called for a complete ban of Muslims entering the United States. He said the proposed ban should apply to immigrants and visitors alike. The proposal was criticized by many.
On Wednesday morning, a group of Portland faith and civic leaders spoke against Islamophobia, bigotry and racism at a news conference in front of city hall.
Portland officials said the resolution doesn't mean the city supports any particular candidate for the presidential office. It does mean that the city opposes hate speech and the actions it could bring.
"This is a time when there is poisonous speech in national politics, and we need to stand on behalf of the values the city loves," Mayor Charlie Hales said.
Muslims and non-Muslims packed the city hall chambers in support of the resolution.
Imam Abdullah Polovina, an immigrant from the former Yugoslavia who leads a Muslim Bosnian congregation in Portland, told the council that area Muslims strongly condemn violence and extremism of any kind.
"We came here to move forward and build a society to love each other, accept one another and accept our diversity," Polovina said.
Bigotry of any kind is unacceptable, he said. "Islamophobia and extremism are two ugly faces of the same coin," Polovina said.