Senate Expected To Bring 'T' Of LGBT Rights To Vote Tuesday

Feb 1, 2016

Credit Jim Nix / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnix/5039079018

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to add transgendered Hoosiers to a gay-rights bill.

Democrats and gay-rights groups have opposed Senate Republicans' civil rights bill because it pushes the question of transgender protections to a study committee.

The bill's supporters have argued more debate is needed about transgender rights.

But Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) has filed an amendment to add gender identity to the bill.

Freedom Indiana campaign manager Chris Paulsen says she’s encouraged by discussions with legislators about Alting’s amendment.

“Lawmakers are reaching out to us,” Paulsen says. “They’re asking us to meet with people like this so they can actually learn the real issue and so we can move the state forward.”

But Paulsen says one of the GOP’s worries about who can use which bathroom is irrelevant to the transgender rights debate.

“That’s been a red herring,” she says. “In the 10 years the Indiana HRO has been in effect, there has not been one case that’s been reported of an issue of a transgender person in a bathroom, so we know that’s a false narrative and we’re here to dispel that myth," referring to the state's human rights ordinance.

Democrats filed a more wide-ranging bill offering the same protections to all LGBT Hoosiers.