- November 18, 2015
This week, I'm in Indiana as the Freedom Indiana campaign ramps up efforts to update state law by adding explicit comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBT Hoosiers.
Earlier this year, the legislature passed a so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that allowed individuals and businesses to cite religious belief as a reason to challenge or opt out of laws, including a local non-discrimination law in Indianapolis. When lawmakers and Governor Mike Pence then attempted to fix the public relations nightmare they created, it was made clear to advocates, as well as business, faith and civic leaders, that the only true "fix" would be to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing Indiana civil rights law.
With the new session of the Indiana Legislature set to convene in less than 60 days, lawmakers from across the state were present in Indianapolis for Organization Day to prepare for the upcoming session. To keep this issue front and center in the minds of lawmakers, Freedom Indiana hosted a rally at the statehouse just steps away from the Senate and House chambers. Speakers included faith leaders and members of the LGBTQ and allied community. From the chants and applause, it was clear there is significant support for the legislature to do the right thing.
HRC is a founding member of Freedom Indiana and with our partners at ACLU of Indiana and Lambda Legal, we are working to make sure Indiana is a state that welcomes and protects all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Indiana is one of 31 states lacking explicit, fully-inclusive non-discrimination protections