This week, The Indianapolis Star shared several stories of LGBT discrimination, spotlighting the need for a comprehensive non-discrimination law for LGBT Hoosiers.
“In Indianapolis, whose non-discrimination (sic) ordinance includes sexual orientation and gender identity among 11 protected classes, nearly 1 in 5 complaints last year were based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Indy Star explained. “These ordinances cannot completely eliminate discrimination. But, experts say, the laws make a statement of equality. They encourage businesses to be more proactive about inclusion in order to avoid discrimination.”
This is not the first time the Indy Star highlighted the need for non-discrimination protections for LGBT Hoosiers. In November, the editorial board wrote about the effort to pass explicit statewide LGBT non-discrimination protections in Indiana, arguing legislation should not exclude public accommodations.
Additionally, after Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the anti-LGBT so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law, The Indianapolis Star was one of the first publications to take a stand against the move. The paper published a front-page editorial calling on Indiana lawmakers and Governor Pence to ensure that a religious refusal law could not be used as a shield for discrimination.
HRC was also quick to take action, criticizing Pence and urging business leaders, religious leaders, political leaders and LGBT and allied Hoosiers to do the same.
With a new session of the Indiana legislature around the corner, HRC is on the ground, working to make sure the legislature passes these much needed protections. HRC, along with the ACLU of Indiana and Lambda Legal, is a founding member of Freedom Indiana.
Indiana is one of 31 states lacking explicit, fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections. Earlier this summer, HRC announced support of the Equality Act, comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination legislation. The Equality Act would provide basic protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, access to public spaces, housing, education, jury service, credit and federal funding. Learn more about The Equality Act here.
To read more about the experiences of LGBT Hoosiers, click here.