Post submitted by Ryan Rowe
With the waning of the legislative session in Indiana, the current inaction of the Legislature combined with Governor Mike Pence’s continued confounding statements on nondiscrimination make it clear that Indiana’s state government has once again failed LGBT Hoosiers.
At town hall Thursday, Governor Pence continued to stand by his conflicting position that protecting LGBT Hoosiers from discrimination and religious freedom are mutually exclusive.
Freedom Indiana, the coalition that has been fighting to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics to Indiana’s existing civil rights laws, put out a video highlighting Governor Pence’s conflicting public statements here.
In response to a yes or no question on whether he thought lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people should be able to be fired simply because of who they are, the Governor, echoing his disappointing State of the State address, continued to dodge the question. Initially Governor Pence answered, “I don’t think anyone should ever be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love.” However, he followed it up by saying, “But I will not support legislation that diminishes religious freedom” in reference to the rejected attempts to put forth non-discrimination bills providing protections for LGBT Hoosiers.
Once again, the Governor backed out of clearly supporting a fully inclusive non-discrimination law and once again he perpetuated the narrative that religious freedom entails a right to discriminate against our fellow citizens.
Despite the mounting evidence, Governor Pence and the majority of Republicans in the Indiana House and Senate continue to do nothing, ignoring their constituents and further damaging the economy and reputation of their state.
HRC, along with the ACLU of Indiana and Lambda Legal, is a founding member of Freedom Indiana. For more information on how to get involved in Freedom Indiana and help fight for anti-discrimination protections for LGBT Hoosiers and visitors in state law, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and go to http://www.freedomindiana.org
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