NewsPublic Affairs / January 12, 2016

Will Pence Announce Stance On LGBT Rights Tonight?

Tonight, Gov. Mike Pence will deliver his fourth State of the State address. - AP photo

Tonight, Gov. Mike Pence will deliver his fourth State of the State address.

AP photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tonight, Gov. Mike Pence will deliver his fourth State of the State address, perhaps the most important speech of his term as he heads into his reelection year.  And many Hoosiers will be listening for Pence to finally reveal his position on LGBT rights.

If you listen to the governor preview his State of the State, you’d think this year’s speech will be largely the same as his previous three addresses to a joint session of the legislature.

“I think the State of the State is a great opportunity to talk about the progress that our state has made over the last year and also what our priorities are for the coming session of the General Assembly,” Pence says.

Those priorities include his plan to fund state and local road maintenance, shielding teachers and schools from the negative effects of a drop in ISTEP scores and a range of proposals to address drug abuse.

But Pence also says he’ll likely weigh in on the state’s ongoing debate over providing LGBT Hoosiers with protections from discrimination.  House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, says he expects the governor to pass the buck to the legislative branch.

“You know, ‘Hey, whatever these guys think will be okay.’  And then when nothing gets to his desk, he can breathe a sigh of relief and go about his campaign cycle,” Pelath says.

Pence had previously promised that Hoosiers would know where he stood on the issue sometime early in 2016.

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