Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

On the Ground in the Hoosier State with Freedom Indiana

by Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy January 16, 2016

Religious freedom, anti-LGBT sentiment, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity were only some of the issues Freedom Indiana grappled with this week. The national implications of so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts are made clear in HRC’s 2016 preview of anti-LGBT state and local legislation.

Human Rights Campaign staff was on the ground in Indiana to strategize with Freedom Indiana. HRC Associate Regional Director Rowe and I were honored to spend time with these high quality and energized activists. Freedom Indiana is a coalition of the Human Rights Campaign, the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal.

Tuesday, Katie Blair, Deputy Campaign Manager for Freedom Indiana, served as host for Freedom Indiana’s rally and watch party for 150 Hoosiers in preparation for Gov. Mike Pence State of the State address.

Despite hopes for a more conciliatory tone towards LGBT Hoosiers, Gov. Pence punted during his speech, failing to clearly call for fully inclusive non-discrimination protections for all LGBT Hoosiers and visitors.

"I will not support any bill that diminishes the religious freedom of Hoosiers or that interferes with the constitutional rights of our citizens to live out their beliefs in worship, service or work,” he said. Pence further stated Indiana is already "an open and welcoming state that respects everyone . . . that no one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love, or what they believe."

Wednesday night, Danyelle Ditmer, faith organizer for Freedom Indiana, sponsored a workshop on letter writing and the value of sharing one’s personal story. Rowe encouraged participants to “remember – you have two stories, the story you share with your legislator that helps them remember the face and the family at risk when they push their button to vote, and the story of why you were moved to take action—which many of your neighbors and fellow church members really need to hear right now.”

Also this week, Rowe and I met with eleven of the twelve members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC). We discussed with the caucus members the opportunity “to see beyond the ruse of religious freedom being in jeopardy, but recognize such bills for what they are; instruments of discrimination cloaked in a religious guise to serve as a wedge issue among marginalized communities.” Senator Lonnie Randolph, Chairman of the IBLC and Vice –Chairman Rep. Cherrish Pryor queried the presenters on a number of issues, including hate crimes.

Longstanding legislator and IBLC member, Senator Earline Rogers, after hearing our presentation, asked for a commitment to specific action items the Black Caucus could take to support full inclusion in Indiana’s non-discrimination laws.  

After a moment of quiet discussion on the procedural process, Senator Rodgers shouted, “Well, can I at least get an Amen?”

Amen indeed!

Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy
Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Think

Aaron Carter Opens Up About His Problems With Drug Addiction And Depression

by Derek de Koff October 24, 2016

In a rare television interview, 28-year-old Aaron Carter appeared on Oprah: Where Are They Now to open up about the host of well-documented personal problems that came along with his meteoric success as a pop star in the late ’90s. The precipitating event was the abrupt divorce of his parents; an announcement made mere minutes before he was set to [...]

Continue Reading →

Here’s The Photo That Nearly Got David McIntosh Banned From Instagram

by Dan Tracer October 24, 2016

When you have a body like this, you should probably just go ahead and do everything sans clothing. McIntosh knows: “If you appreciate your body, why would you want to cover it up? You might as well show it off.” Agreed. “I live in an apartment with buildings facing onto it, so when I walk [...]

Continue Reading →

DVD: “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Front Cover,” “Michael Moore In Trumpland,” & More!

by Lawrence Ferber October 24, 2016

Aliens, exes, and culture clashes, oh my! It seems like a lot of worlds get shaken up in this week’s home entertainment picks. Those rascally world-conquering aliens are back in Roland Emmerich’s long-awaited sequel to ID4, Independence Day: Resurgence. A gay Asian-American New Yorker clashes, and finds sparks with, a closeted actor from Beijing in [...]

Continue Reading →