INDIANAPOLIS -- The reviews are pouring in after Senate Republicans this week unveiled their proposed LGBT civil rights legislation. And advocates on both sides of the debate are finding plenty to critique.
The proposed bill bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity while providing exceptions for religious institutions, including schools and nonprofits. It also says businesses with three or fewer employees don’t have to provide services for any same sex marriage-related activities, including anniversary parties. And it allows people to bar transgender people from their bathrooms.
Jennifer Pizer, senior counsel for the national LGBT rights group Lambda Legal, says those exceptions are unlike anything she’s seen before and go too far.
“If we’re going to allow groups to shun each other, including for sincere religious reasons, we cannot function as a society,” Pizer said.
For Monica Boyer, the issue isn’t nuanced. She leads the Indiana Religious Freedom Alliance. She says her organization and others like it won’t support any legislation providing LGBT protections, and promises there will be consequences for lawmakers who do.
“So the General Assembly can go down this path if they want," Boyer said. "We’re obviously going to oppose it the whole way. But then, as of February, we’ll have primaries for these guys.”
The General Assembly returns in January to begin debating the bill.