This afternoon, Rep. Scott Pelath offered an amendment to SB 20 that would have prevented employment discrimination in Indiana based on sexual orientation and gender identity. That amendment was defeated 35-59.
Following today’s disappointing vote, our initiative director Peter Hanscom released the below statement:
Today, members of the Indiana House of Representatives had the opportunity to take serious steps toward ensuring LGBT Hoosiers cannot be fired from their jobs simply because of who they are or who they love.
“Although these limited employment protections would fall far short of the comprehensive nondiscrimination policies we support to help move our economy forward, this is an unsettling declaration from our state’s lawmakers that Indiana will continue to tolerate legal discrimination against the LGBT community. The state’s business community again finds itself defending Indiana’s reputation as an inclusive, diverse and welcoming place for all to do business.
“Moving forward we urge lawmakers to take decisive action to assure our state’s reputation and economy are protected by passing a comprehensive update to the state’s civil rights code that protects all employees, residents and consumers.”
Since the Indiana Senate failed to advance SB 344 earlier this month, Indiana businesses have been crystal clear that they are more committed than ever to advancing full non-discrimination protections because they know it’s what Indiana needs in order to attract and retain the top talent a vibrant economy requires. Just this week, 475+ businesses hand-delivered a letter to every single member of the General Assembly, underscoring exactly that. It read, in part:
￼Despite the lack of a floor vote on Senate Bill 344 at the end of January, we believe the committee hearing and committee passage, along with the broad based support for positive changes to our state’s civil rights code has created positive momentum and we remain committed to updating Indiana’s civil rights code to adequately protect ALL Hoosier citizens. Our sincere request is that you do not allow the lack of action in one house of our State Legislature to impede the progress that we simply must make as a state to ensure and end to legal discrimination against anyone simply for who they are or who they love. The inaction by one legislative chamber has not, and will not, change the request from Hoosier businesses across the state that the legislature take decisive action to ensure that every individual who lives, works or visits our great state has equal rights under the law.
No legislative delay will weaken the resolve of Hoosier businesses that agree it’s time for our state to be open for business to everyone! Click here to urge lawmakers to act before they adjourn on March 14th to fully protect LGBT Hoosiers.