Today Indiana Competes’ coalition of businesses supporting statewide LGBT non-discrimination laws and policies reached the 500-member mark—and then surpassed it.
The Indiana Competes coalition now includes 503 businesses supporting equality for all Hoosiers, from large corporations to small family-owned business.
This is a momentous achievement for Indiana Competes and advocates for LGBT Hoosiers across the state. It shows the business community’s collective voice in support of equality for all Hoosiers is strong and will only continue to grow, and that any attempt to stall or suppress efforts to enact LGBT non-discrimination protections will be met with considerable business opposition.
Stephen F. Fry, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Diversity at Eli Lilly and Company, echoed those sentiments. The company’s cutting edge biotechnology research relies on being able to recruit professionals from across the country, including from states that might already have such protections for LGBT workers:
“Lilly’s future success will be determined by our ability to attract and retain great employees. We are gratified that over 500 businesses have now joined Indiana Competes. The collective message of our coalition is clear: Indiana leaders must take decisive action to reinforce our state’s reputation as a great place to live and work—for everyone.”
Indiana Competes launched in December 2015, spurred by the Indiana General Assembly’s 2015 success in enacting a license for businesses and individuals to discriminate against LGBT Hoosiers. With that license to discriminate came condemnations from businesses nervous about investing in a state so openly hostile to LGBT workers.
With the legislature continuing to kick the can down the road on the issue of workplace and other protections for LGBT Hoosiers during the 2016 legislative session, Indiana Competes membership grew from just more than 150 businesses to today’s 503.
The Indiana Competes coalition plans to remain actively engaged on the issue at the local level until the state legislature gavels in for the 2017 session. Right now, coalition members are working with local leaders in cities and towns across the state pass LGBT-inclusive Human Rights Ordinances.
Business voices are critical as we continue to talk to lawmakers as well as local leaders and advocates about the positive impact LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination laws can have on the Hoosier economy.