Indiana Governor’s Hometown Stands Up for LGBT RightsBy Cameron Tolle • September 15, 2015 • 8:43 pm
Another city in Indiana is doing everything it can to turn the page on Gov. Mike Pence’s so called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which passed last year and made it easier for individuals, businesses and organizations to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. This time, it’s Pence’s hometown that is standing up for LGBT rights.
Moments ago, Columbus City Council – which is comprised entirely of Republican members — unanimously passed a law that will ban discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
Columbus is just the latest in the growing chorus of Indiana municipalities to pass an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. Over the summer, Zionsville, Martinsville, Terre Haute have all adopted similar ordinances.
After the vote tonight, our campaign manager Matt McTighe thanked the City Council for leading on the issue:
“Earlier this year, Indiana’s welcoming reputation was tarnished when it passed a law that made it easier to discriminate against LGBT people. Now, cities across Indiana — including Gov. Pence’s hometown — are stepping up to ensure everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, is protected from discrimination, and proving that Hoosier hospitality is alive and well. … Columbus’ all-Republican city council is showing that nondiscrimination protections for LGBT Americans should not be a partisan issue. That is why we are working in the reddest-of-the-red and the bluest-of-the-blue states to ensure every American, including LGBT Americans, can live and work without fear of discrimination.”
Under Indiana state law, there are no explicit protections for LGBT Hoosiers in employment, housing and public accommodations. And as we thank members of the Columbus City Council for taking this important step, we now urge state lawmakers to heed the call of municipalities, businesses and a majority of Hoosiers statewide who agree it’s time for statewide non-discrimination protections under Indiana’s civil rights law.