Nothing in the Indiana Constitution prevents the state legislature from protecting LGBT Hoosiers from the real harms caused by discrimination. As a matter of fact, the Constitution stands with LGBT Hoosiers who seek to live their lives without fear of discrimination.
When introduced in November 2015, Indiana Senate Bill 100 was presented as a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity protections to Indiana law, which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Hoosiers urgently need. Unfortunately, the bill that was introduced provides little meaningful protection from discrimination for transgender people and includes damaging carve-outs and exemptions targeting all LGBT people in Indiana. While broadly problematic, there are six key problems with SB100:
SB100 denies LGBT people protections others receive, invites discrimination against transgender people, eliminates local civil rights laws, and protects both licensed professionals who discriminate and religiously affiliated medical and social service providers that discriminate with public funds.
Lambda Legal sent an open letter to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and leaders of the Indiana House and Senate urging them to include sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing categories that enjoy protection from discrimination under Indiana law.
Today, Lambda Legal urged the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ruling and allow Kimberly Hively to present her case alleging that Ivy Tech Community College, where she worked as an instructor for 14 years, denied her fulltime employment and promotions, and eventually terminated her employment, because she is a lesbian.
On Friday, September 18th, Lambda Legal will honor two leaders whose public stance against Indiana’s so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) this year elevated public outcry, outlined the costly impact of discrimination on business, and set important standard for corporate leadership on civil rights.
More than 100 state bills so far have aimed to use religious beliefs as an excuse for discrimination. The idea is to allow businesses and public employees to mistreat LGBT people and consider married same-sex couples as unmarried.