INDIANAPOLIS -- Republican and Democratic lawmakers and LGBT advocates agree that the LGBT rights debate won’t end, even after Senate Republicans killed a bill that would have offered some legal protection.
The proposed measure would have extended anti-discrimination protections to lesbian, gay and bisexual Hoosiers but not the transgender community. Senate GOP leadership didn’t call the bill down to the floor for amendments or a vote after they said it became clear the measure couldn’t advance.
Bill author Travis Holdman says the transgender issue was one of the biggest sticking points, and says a study committee on the issue before next session could help.
“I think the transgender folks have a message that we need to hear, and I think that that may not be a bad idea,” Holdman said.
But Freedom Indiana campaign manager Chris Paulsen, whose organization advocates for LGBT rights, says a study committee shouldn’t be necessary.
“This has been a discussion that’s been going on for years," Paulsen said. "Indiana needed to have protections this session. It’s not something we can put off.”
Senate Republican Leader David Long says LGBT rights are an inevitability in Indiana and plans to debate the issue again next year.