Tonight the Indiana Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee advanced Senate Bill 344; it will now go to the Senate floor for a vote. Lambda Legal is calling on Indiana. LGBT people, allies, business leaders, athletes and advocates to re-engage in the fight against SB344, a bill that will damage LGBT Hoosiers.
Lambda Legal today called for the Indiana Senate Judiciary and Rules Committees to vote down SB 100, SB 344 and SB 66, three bills which would enshrine discrimination and deliver a devastating blow to LGBT Hoosiers.
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.
It is essential that we launch 2016 remaining staunch against efforts to create religious carve-outs, to expand beyond all recognition what religious freedom really means, and to turn civil rights laws perversely into tools for discrimination.
In our work on behalf of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV, we have fought for years against group-based discrimination, stigma, and violence against members of our community. Our community has experienced being profiled and harassed by the police, and a continuing history of being labeled, stigmatized and rejected as outsiders and as a dangerous threat by society.
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.