Lambda Legal Urges Indiana House to Reject Discrimination Bill

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March 16, 2015
Lambda Legal plaintiff Amy Sandler (left) with her late wife, Niki Quasney.

The Indiana House Judiciary Committee will consider a bill today that seeks to allow private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate against anyone in Indiana on religious grounds.

The bill passed the Indiana Senate on February 19.

Watch a live stream of the hearing here.

Jennifer Pizer, National Director of Lambda Legal’s Law and Policy Project, says:

We urge the House Judiciary Committee to reject this discriminatory bill. Freedom of religion does not give any of us the right to discriminate against others.

Indiana’s bill is trying to create a "freedom to discriminate," twisting the intent of our Nation’s founders beyond recognition. We are seeing this across the country — bills that say they are about protecting one thing while actually targeting and seeking to validate discrimination against LGBT people, with dangerous implications for everyone else.

Indiana workers, families and others will be vulnerable to the whims of anyone claiming a religious reason for ignoring state or local laws. The bill tries to place religious rights above all else in disputes between private parties — between neighbors, employee and employer, and landlord and tenant. It’s a toxic recipe for increasing disputes, discord and discrimination across the Hoosier state.

Amy Sandler, the surviving spouse of Niki Quasney and plaintiff in Lambda Legal’s successful lawsuit that won marriage for same-sex couples in Indiana, Baskin v. Bogan, will give testimony at today’s hearing.

As Amy states in her testimony prepared for today’s hearing: “This bill, despite its name, undermines the idea that religion is a source of compassion, comfort and care. SB 101 would — again — strip away the safety net for all married same-sex couples in Indiana.”

Read the press release.