Business Coalition Announces Push for Statewide Anti-Discrimination Law December 2, 2015

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brad Rateike
brad@barcommunications.com
(317) 508-8419

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (December 2, 2015) – Indiana Competes, a coalition of more than 150 business leaders from across Indiana, launched its effort today in support of Hoosier lawmakers amending Indiana’s civil rights code during the 2016 legislative session to prohibit discrimination of any kind.

“Our business are better able to compete in a global economy if we have a reputation as a state that is inclusive,” said Michael Huber, president and CEO of the Indy Chamber. “The Indy Chamber and our business community works day in and day out to attract and retain top talent, top investment and top employers to our region. In order to be successful on this front, we must be united in our message that all employees, vendors, customers and colleagues are welcome here.”

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. And 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. “Discrimination has never been part of Indiana’s culture and we need to make certain that it never will be in the future,” said Doug Dayhoff, CEO of Upland Brewing Company. “As I work to recruit top talent to relocate to Indiana, it’s become clear this issue is critical to our state’s reputation and “brand” as perceived by the outside world. Decisive action is needed to align our laws and regulations with Indiana’s modern culture. Legal equality for all citizens is a strong and positive value, which positions the state to build on our best 21st –century economic opportunities.”

“Employees, consumers and visitors to our state must feel welcome in our communities,” said Bob Goodman of Goodman Jewelers. “For Indiana to protect its reputation as the premier destination to locate and grow a business, we have to make certain all people are given the same rights here.”

Following the formal announcement event at the JW Marriott in Downtown Indianapolis the coalition will hold local events throughout the next two weeks in South Bend, Bloomington, Evansville, Lafayette, Fort Wayne, and Northwest Indiana. More than 150 Hoosier businesses have already signed a formal pledge of support for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation.

The Indiana Competes business pledge and a full list of Hoosier businesses that have signed the pledge can be found at www.indianacompetes.org.

Indiana Competes has named Peter Hanscom as initiative manager. Hanscom most recently served on the staff of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly. The initiative has also placed staff members in communities across Indiana to educate business leaders on the economic benefits to updating our state’s civil rights laws.

About Indiana Competes

Indiana Competes is an organization dedicated to the sustainable growth of Indiana’s economy by ensuring that persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities are treated fairly and equally under the law. We support legislation that guarantees all individuals receive fair treatment in the workplace, in housing, and in businesses and government services throughout the State of Indiana. Hoosier businesses, large and small, across the state, are joining together to support updates to Indiana’s civil rights laws to see that all citizens regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability, and now sexual orientation, gender identity and expression – can participate freely in our state’s economy. To sign the pledge joining Indiana Competes, visit the website – www.indianacompetes.org.

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