Lambda Legal Urges Indiana House Judiciary Committee to Reject Discrimination Bill SB 101

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March 16, 2015

(Indianapolis, IN, March 16, 2015) — Today, the Indiana House Judiciary Committee will consider a bill, passed by the Indiana Senate on February 19, which seeks to allow private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate against anyone in Indiana on religious grounds. Jennifer Pizer, National Director of Lambda Legal’s Law and Policy Project, issued the following statement urging the House Judiciary Committee to vote "no" on Senate Bill 101:

“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.”

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Contact Info

Erik Roldan

Cell: 312-545-8140; Email: eroldan@lambdalegal.org

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

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