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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Indiana passes nation's most anti-LGBTQ law
From news releases
2015-03-23

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From Lambda Legal:

(Indianapolis, IN, March 23, 2015) - Today, the Indiana House of Representatives, with a vote of 63-31, passed a bill designed to allow private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate against anyone in Indiana on religious grounds. Jennifer Pizer, National Director of Lambda Legal's Law and Policy Project, issued the following statement condemning SB 101's passage, which Governor Pence has vowed to sign into Indiana law:

"We are extremely disappointed that Indiana's House, despite knowing the vast implications for all Hoosiers, voted to facilitate religious discrimination in many areas of life for Indiana's families, workers and others. Indiana now joins an alarming number of legislatures that intend to allow for-profit companies to be treated as churches by our government.

"Once the governor signs this bill into law, as he has vowed to do, women, racial minorities, people with disabilities and many other groups of people will be vulnerable to the whims of any individual or business owner who decides that they want to refuse services to someone for any reason, as long as they claim a religious objection.

"We urge members of the LGBT community to alert Lambda Legal if they ever experience discrimination with religion as the basis. If you have questions or feel that you have been discriminated against based on your sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status, please contact our Legal Help Desk www.lambdalegal.org/help "

From National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund:

Washington, DC, March 23, 2015—Governor Mike Pence ( R-Indiana ) is being urged to veto SB 101, a piece of legislation that would be one of the most anti-LGBTQ laws in the nation by allowing individuals to ignore any law they deem to conflict with their religious beliefs. A broad coalition of groups in Indiana is against the proposed law including civil rights and faith leaders, small business owners and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

"Lawmakers in Indiana have chosen to ignore an unprecedented chorus of voices speaking out in opposition to this draconian bill. Governor Pence now has the opportunity to follow the lead of former Governor Jan Brewer ( R-AZ ) in similar circumstances and to veto this appalling law. The truth is, this new law will undoubtedly damage Indiana's reputation as a welcoming place. Instead, the state will now be viewed as completely out-of-step and a place where it isn't good to live and do business. What these politicians are peddling as 'religious liberty' is not real religious liberty. This law is an out-right recipe for discrimination and persecution," said Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Executive Director. We urge all Indianans to contact Governor Pence at 317-232-4567 to ask him to veto this unprecedented attack on religious liberty.

To learn more about the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, visit us online at: www.thetaskforce.org .

Veto SB 101 campaign calls on Indiana Governor Mike Pence to veto license to discriminate bill; challenges Indiana business leaders to speak out

Press release added March 24, 2015

Indianapolis, IN — Moments ago, the Indiana legislature passed their so-called "religious freedom" legislation, Senate Bill 101. This law is the latest in a national effort by religious extremists to chip away at gains made by the LGBT community by codifying a license to discriminate into law.

Governor Mike Pence has indicated his intention to sign this bill into law. It is imperative that the Governor rethink his support and — as his colleague, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, did last year — veto this unnecessary, discriminatory and business-hostile bill.

SB 101 is just one wave in a tsunami of anti-LGBT bills that have been filed by state legislators across the country this year. The Human Rights Campaign has catalogued more than 85 bills have been filed in 26 state legislatures. While purporting to be about "religious freedom," these bills are little more than Trojan horses intending to give legal and state endorsement to discriminatory practices that exclude LGBT individuals from legal protections and community participation.

"As a seminary graduate, this bill is deeply offensive," said Heather Cronk, co-director of GetEQUAL. "The fact that religion is being used as a smokescreen for deeply hateful and vile sentiments by right-wing extremists, and then cemented into law, is not just un-Christian — it's un-American."

As activist Scott Wooledge puts it: "I've engaged in the battles against these bill in Arkansas, Arizona, and Tennessee in 2011. My message to those pushing these regressive, reactionary "religious freedom" laws is we will follow you to whatever state you try this and we will fight you aggressively. And my message to our allies and friends is we will pressure to defend your LGBT friends' and workers' right to live their lives free of discrimination."

Scott McCorkle, CEO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud of Indianapolis, has also said SB 101 threatens future growth in Indiana. "Our success is fundamentally based on our ability to attract and retain the best and most diverse pool of highly skilled employees…" The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, engine maker Cummins, health-care provider Eskenazi Health and pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. have also voiced concerns about SB 101's impact on their businesses.

Governor Pence now has seven days to act on the bill. While time remains, the Veto SB 101 campaign will directly engage the Indiana business communities and leaders to take a clear position on this legislation. Direct inquiries have been made to Indiana's ten largest employers by state size. The Veto SB 101 campaign will provide updates on the site as information becomes available.

Veto SB 101 (www.vetosb101.com) is a spontaneous national nonpartisan coalition campaign organized to encourage Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana to veto Indiana's discriminatory "religious freedom" bill.

GetEQUAL is a national grassroots social justice organization whose mission is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and our allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information go to www.getequal.org . You can also follow GetEQUAL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/getequal or on Twitter at @GetEQUAL.

Scott Wooledge is a New York City based writer, social media strategist and activist who has previously worked to stop AZ's #SB1062, AR's #SB202 as well as the #CheerToSochi campaign targeting Olympic sponsors.

See later coverage at the link? www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Gov-Pence-signs-religious-exemptions-bill-/50957.html .


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