HRC Blasts Bush for Supporting Pence and New Indiana Law

Nation’s largest LGBT organization asks if former Florida governor supports discrimination protections for LGBT Americans

WASHINGTON – In a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt earlier today, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush embraced the widely-denounced and discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation that Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law last Thursday.  While the national backlash against the harmful measure has been swift and brutal--and as Pence and Indiana lawmakers who supported the law have said they're seeking to "clarify" it--Bush spoke up today to defend the law. His support comes as many private-sector leaders have denounced the legislation and others like it,including Apple CEO Tim Cook.

In the interview, which can be heard here, Bush said:

"I think, if you, if they actually got briefed on the law that [sic] they wouldn’t be blasting this law. I think Governor Pence has done the right thing."

In response to Bush's praise for the law, Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement:

"Discrimination is not an American value, and the broad coalition of business, civic, and religious leaders who have spoken out forcefully against this discriminatory law agree.  This includes titans of industry, elected officials at the very highest level of government, and Americans from both political parties and from all walks of life.  To suggest they oppose the law because they don't understand it is insulting, disrespectful, and flat-out wrong.  Governor Bush's decision to defend this widely-condemned law raises an important question. Does he support legal non-discrimination protections for LGBT Americans, or does he believe businesses should have the legal right to fire gay and lesbian employees, evict LGBT Americans from their apartments, or refuse them service at a restaurant?  Now that he's weighed in, he has an obligation to tell the country what he stands for."

Earlier today, HRC endorsed the "Fairness for All Hoosiers Act” as a solution to stop the damage caused by the new Indiana law. The legislative proposal would:

  • Update the state’s civil rights laws against discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations to provide protections for LGBT Hoosiers.

  • Clarify that the recently enacted Indiana religious discrimination law cannot be used to allow discrimination prohibited under state or local laws.

HRC is a founding member of the Freedom Indiana coalition—a campaign of state and national organizations who worked to try to stop the anti-LGBT bill from becoming law.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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