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April 28, 2016
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Amy Sandler

By Amy Sandler

“What are we going to do to protect people in our town?”

This was a question I asked myself about a year ago when it was clear to me that my state, or at least our state politicians, didn’t care about me or my family.

My wife Niki passed away last year, after Lambda Legal helped us be legally married in the state of Indiana. It was at this time when the state assembly was debating their so-called “religious freedom” law which invites local businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. My experience fighting alongside Niki in Lambda Legal’s marriage lawsuit taught me that a small group of people can accomplish great things.

So, I agreed to testify.

I told the representatives that their legislation could allow a pharmacist to deny my family medicine or the hospice service that cared for Niki during her battle with cancer to turn us away in our time of dire need. But they didn’t care.

And since it was clear to me that the Indiana legislature wasn’t going to do anything to protect LGBT people, I began to ask friends and neighbors how we could advance protections in the small town of Munster, Indiana – my home. That first conversation led to many others and became a local movement.

 

Congratulations to #wearemunster for their #lgbt HRO win! So proud of our plaintiff and activist Amy Sandler!

A photo posted by Lambda Legal (@lambdalegal) on

 

And last night, we won! I felt like Niki’s light was radiating over the Munster town hall. My town now explicitly protects our community members from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, along with the other federally protected classes.

The more people hear our stories, the more they are moved to help us push forward. I was especially moved to see and hear the Munster Town council members evolve in their own positions. That’s what Lambda Legal does, and it's why I love them. They tell our stories, and they make certain our voices are heard.

Please join me in my support for Lambda Legal – to help secure and defend legal protections for all LGBT people and people living with HIV – in small town America and everywhere in our county.