State’s equality survey results look troubling
WASHINGTON (Dec. 15) — Gay and transgender Hoosiers need help, according to a recently-released national survey.
By The Midwest Eagle Staff
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the largest national LGBTQ civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation, released its third annual national report assessing the status of state legislation which affects LGBTQ equality across America, including in Indiana.
HRC’s State Equality Index revealed HRC’s State Equality Index revealed that in many states opponents of equality are ramping up efforts to sanction discrimination against LGBTQ people by proposing state level laws that would undermine existing protections, erode marital rights of legally-joined same-sex couples, target transgender people including youth and limit the ability of cities and towns to pass their own inclusive laws. Indiana falls into the category, “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality.” Indiana is one of 30 states in the country that lack explicit state level workplace protections for all LGBTQ employees. “State governments have a clear choice between sowing the seeds of division and discrimination or building an economy that works for everyone by fostering fairness and inclusion,” said HRC President Chad Griffin,
“Unfortunately, too many lawmakers have decided to target LGBTQ people for state-sanctioned discrimination and to interfere with local protections for workers, customers,and residents. Now more than ever, it is crucial that legislators across the country stand on the right side of history and ensure full equality for all their citizens -nothing more and nothing less.” – Chad Griffin
“Last year our community faced a bar-rage of attacks on our freedoms, but we are more united and better prepared than ever to continue our momentum toward equality for all,” said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation Institute. “This report serves as an important tool for advocates to keep pushing forward. We’re not going to stop until all LGBTQ people and their families are able to reach their full potential, free from discrimination, no matter what state they live in.”
What is the State Equality Index?
While more than 111 million people live in states where LGBTQ people lack clear state-level protections against discrimination, or a marker on a birth certificate or driver’s license. The SEI assesses statewide LGBTQ-related legislation and policies, good and bad, in five areas: parenting laws and policies; non-discrimination laws and policies; hate crimes laws; youth-related laws and policies; and health and safety laws.
Why is Indiana’s LGBT Score Considered Bad?
Twenty-eight states are in the lowest-rated category “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality”: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas,Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Indiana finds itself in the lowest category for equality nationwide.
While Indiana still lacks many basic protections against employment, hate crimes, and surrogacy; we still show some room for growth. Indiana still has a long road to travel; and it’s up to us to make sure legislators and lawmakers within the state respect and value our path to equality for all.
The full report, including detailed scorecards for every state, as well as a comprehensive review of 2016 state legislation, is available at www.hrc.org/sei.