Business Coalition Calls on Indiana General Assembly to Ban Discrimination January 5, 2016

To read the letter, click here.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 5, 2016) – Indiana Competes, a coalition of more than 350 Indiana businesses and business-related organizations, today delivered a letter to all 150 members of the Indiana General Assembly calling for lawmakers to amend the state’s civil rights code to prohibit discrimination of any kind. The coalition also shared results from a recent poll that showed that more than 62% of those surveyed support making it illegal in Indiana to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.

“It’s up to our legislators to take action to show the world that discrimination will not be tolerated in our state because our economic reputation is at stake,” said Doug Dayhoff, President of Upland Brewing. “It is currently legal to discriminate in Indiana, and that is wrong. We need our lawmakers to show leadership to make sure our economy is not damaged any further.”

The poll, conducted in December by Bellweather Research, is the most recent to show overwhelming support for the state to ban discrimination against LGBT people.

Summary of polling results:

  • 73% of those surveyed believe that Indiana state law already makes it illegal to discriminate against an LGBT person in the area of employment, housing and public accommodations.
  • 62% of those surveyed support making it illegal in Indiana to discriminate against LGBT people.
  • 47% of those surveyed said they would be less likely to vote for a legislator if he/she voted against protecting LGBT people from discrimination.
  • 69% of those surveyed indicated they had a family member or close friend (or both) who is gay or lesbian.

 

“When businesses can’t recruit and retain top talent to our state because of a fear those individuals may be legally discriminated against, our economy suffers,” said Michael Huber, CEO of the Indy Chamber. “Banning discrimination of any kind is not only the right thing to do, it makes economic sense. Making certain that everyone in Indiana has equal rights is another tool in our toolbox to help attract top businesses and investment.”

 

Indiana Competes officially launched last month and includes many of Indiana’s largest employers in addition to small businesses across the state. Indiana does not have a statewide law that ensures legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in housing, employment, and other public accommodations. While many municipalities have passed local ordinances offering protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, Hoosier businesses recognize that a statewide measure is crucial to growing Indiana’s economy.

The Indiana Competes business pledge and a full list of Hoosier businesses that have signed the pledge can be found at www.indianacompetes.org. The complete letter to lawmakers from the members of Indiana Competes and the poll results and analysis is contained in the attached document.

About Indiana Competes

Indiana Competes is a coalition organized by Hoosier business leaders. The purpose of the campaign is to highlight positive economic impact to be realized by creating protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Indiana Competes supports the growth of Indiana’s economy by ensuring that all Hoosiers have equal protections in the workplace, in housing, and in public accommodations. To sign the pledge joining Indiana Competes, visit the website – www.indianacompetes.org.

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