One Equal World

Indiana Businesses Push For LGBT Protections

Posted on: December 11, 2015

Image: Indiana Competes, 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.

Image: Indiana Competes, 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.

More than 150 businesses around Indiana state have teamed up to form a coalition called Indiana Competes to lobby state legislature for protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. Pressure on lawmakers to pass an LGBT rights bill is coming from a number of Indiana’s employers including pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and engine manufacturer/distributor Cummins to small business owners such as Doug Dayhoff.

After launching a new website and social media accounts last week, Indiana Competes is vowing to lobby lawmakers to add LGBT protections to the state’s civil rights law in the upcoming legislative session. Key members believe that an LBGT rights measure is required to repair Indiana’s reputation, which was damaged in the recent fight over a religious freedom law that opponents called a license to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples.

“We need a non-discrimination statute that is fully inclusive and ensures that people are treated equally under state law,” said Maria Rose, Chief Administrative Officer at Cummins. “When we think about Indiana, we have to make sure that Indiana is creating environments where people want to come and work,” she said, adding that the question for hiring top talent becomes: “Do I want to go live in Indiana, or do I want to go live in Seattle?”

CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud Scott McCorkle also believes that Indiana “must ensure its employees and customers are protected against discrimination.”

Progress is being made as lawmakers are now working on ways to add protections into state law; both Democrats and Republicans in the Indiana legislature have drafted preliminary bills for deliberation.

Because Republicans hold the super-majority, state Senator Travis Holdman expects that the “compromise” bill (that would allow for certain religious freedom exemptions) would change significantly and that Indiana Competes would be at the table.

Indiana Competes will continue planning events across the state to raise awareness and recruit new businesses.

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1 Response to "Indiana Businesses Push For LGBT Protections"

[…] with the story of LGBT protections in Indiana, “Indiana Competes”, a business coalition formed to expand LGBT […]

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