Legislature Passes on Formal Study of LGBT Rights

May 28, 2015

Indiana Senate President Pro-Tem David Long says even though LGBT civil rights protections will not see formal study this summer, it's still on the minds of legislators.
Credit Courtesy / Indiana Senate Republicans

Republican legislative leaders say a formal study on creating civil rights protections for the LGBT community won’t happen this year. But they say they’ll be thinking about the issue regardless.

Republican leaders admitted earlier this year that controversy surrounding the religious freedom bill fast-forwarded the debate around adding LGBT protections to the state’s civil rights statute.  But the topic didn’t make it onto the list of issues lawmakers will officially study this summer. 

Senate GOP Leader David Long notes the LGBT rights issue isn’t alone– about two-thirds of suggested topics didn’t make the cut.

“But that doesn’t mean we won’t be talking about it, analyzing it; that’ll go on quietly through the summer,” Long said.

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath admits he personally doesn’t need to study the issue; he’s firmly in support of adding LGBT protections to state law.

“But in a larger sense, for those who don’t share my point of view, they’re going to have to continue to be exposed to the facts,” Pelath said. “They’re going to have to continue to be exposed to changing ideals that exist out there in the general public.”

Both Long and Pelath say that with or without a study committee, there will be legislation next session to amend Indiana’s civil rights law.