NewsPublic Affairs / May 25, 2016

Lawmakers Will Study LGBT Civil Rights This Summer

file photo

file photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- General Assembly leaders announced Wednesday that a legislative study committee will explore civil rights issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation this summer and fall.

Senate Republicans said they hoped to study LGBT issues further after last session’s failed legislation. Senate President Pro Tem David Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma say now is the time, though Bosma remains pessimistic.

“I’m not certain they’re going to find common ground on the issue that was so contentious this last session,” Bosma says. “It’s worthy of a discussion and allow people to say their piece on it.”

Bosma adds that the Obama administration’s recent directive regarding the transgender community’s access to bathrooms, which Bosma and Long decry as extreme federal overreach, emphasizes the need for such a study.

Senate Democratic leader Tim Lanane says he hopes that issue doesn’t cloud the debate.

“We shouldn’t delay the idea of protecting members of the LGBT community based upon what I think is basically a red herring,” Lanane says.

General Assembly leaders announced around 50 topics, including a comprehensive look at Indiana’s alcohol laws, sexual misconduct in schools, and paid fantasy sports.

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