February 22, 2023

House Republicans vote to block public funding from Kinsey Institute at Indiana University

Article origination IPB News
The Kinsey Institute is based at Indiana University on its Bloomington campus. - FILE PHOTO: Emma Atkinson/WFIU

The Kinsey Institute is based at Indiana University on its Bloomington campus.

FILE PHOTO: Emma Atkinson/WFIU

Indiana House Republicans voted Wednesday to block public funding of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University.

The Kinsey Institute is a research organization focused on human sexuality. It has attracted controversy in the past over unfounded allegations that its founder, Alfred Kinsey, abused children as part of his research.

Rep. Lorissa Sweet (R-Wabash) repeated those allegations, without evidence, as she offered her amendment to the state budget bill.

“We, as the governing body, need to put limits on the access to tax dollars we allow Indiana University to garner by denying such funds to be directed towards Kinsey Institute,” Sweet said.

Sweet went further by alleging – again, without proof – that the institute and IU are currently sheltering sexual predators.

READ MORE: Indiana lawmakers will write their two-year budget this session. Here’s how that process works

Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington), whose district includes IU, stridently opposed Sweet’s comments and her amendment.

“And quite honestly, it angers me when people’s good names are sullied and libeled from this floor,” Pierce said.

The House approved the amendment 53 to 34. The House will advance the budget bill to the Senate as early as Thursday.

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Pierce was asked if he was surprised so many Republicans went along with Sweet's amendment. He said GOP lawmakers are worried they'll lose their seats.

"They can't make a rational decision anymore in this body because they have to worry about some crazy people knocking them out in a primary," Pierce said.

Sweet, the amendment author, ousted a longtime Republican incumbent, Dan Leonard, in last year's primary election.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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