Indianapolis/San Francisco • 26 March 2015 - Marriage Equality USA is deeply disturbed by Indiana’s enactment of SB 101, legislation that enables individuals, businesses, and other organizations to refuse to serve LGBT people and indeed any person simply based on what an individual or business claims is their religious view.
MEUSA member Barbara Allyn Howard of Indianapolis, Indiana, stated: “I’m so angry and disappointed both as a resident of Indiana and as an American. I am a heterosexual woman who abhors hurtful discrimination in any form. And, I’m not alone – hundreds of my fellow Hoosiers are expressing their outrage on Facebook and Twitter at the Governor’s signing this bill. The fact the Governor signed the bill privately behind locked doors speaks volumes – especially given that he accepted absolutely no citizen or corporate feedback prior to signing.”
SB 101 is the latest law passed as part of a concerted effort by those who oppose equality to enact laws that appear neutral on their face, but, in fact, are intended to exclude and to discriminate against women and minorities.
"Those behind Indiana’s law are part of national political strategy, begun several years ago, to try to instill unfounded fear that ensuring equality for LGBTQ Americans will somehow impinge on the freedom of religion," said John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA’s Legal and Policy Director. “The same national strategy is being employed to undermine women’s lives. Because of laws similar to Indiana’s, public businesses have been able to substitute their owners’ religious views regarding access to contraception for their female employees for medical decisions these women make in consultation with health care professionals. We as Americans must stop this cynical strategy in its tracks, because unstopped the strategy will subject women, LGBTQ people, and millions of other Americans to discrimination and exclusion from vital services. As a society, we are better than that. Public opinion polling shows that a large majority of Americans oppose laws such as Indiana’s."
Lewis concluded, "Nearly 60 percent of Americans now support full marriage equality, and 37 states and the District of Columbia have marriage equality, as will Puerto Rico in the near future. We look to the Supreme Court in the marriage equality cases to be decided this June to move America forward, not backward, toward true equality and inclusion for all Americans.”
Stuart Gaffney, Communications Director, (415) 378-3259, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Lewis, Legal & Policy Director, (415) 377-7924, email@example.com
Brian Silva, Executive Director, (347) 913-6369, firstname.lastname@example.org