« Law - "Surge of new abortion restrictions limits access 'brick by brick'" [Updated] | Main | Environment - "EPA review contains good news about Lemon Lane PCB site" »

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Indianapolis Rallies Around Its Gay Citizens After a Law Sets Off a Flood of Support"

That was the headline of this story by Mitch Smith this weekend in the NY Times. The long story begins:

INDIANAPOLIS — In a state perhaps best known for its hallowed speedway and lean-to-the-right politics, the pageantry of the past week might have seemed unexpected.

On Wednesday, a standing-room-only crowd snacked on rainbow-colored fruit skewers at a forum on transgender issues. On Thursday, men donned blond wigs and high heels at a drag show to raise money for charity. And on Saturday, gay men and women were expected to turn out by the thousands for the annual pride parade and festival. The mayor, a Republican, will serve as grand marshal, and several same-sex couples plan to exchange marriage vows.

It was all part of a nine-day pride celebration of Indiana’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. And it came against a backdrop of events that have suggested that Indiana is not of one mind in its views about sexual orientation as might have been thought.

Less than three months ago at the green-domed State Capitol here, the Republican-dominated state legislature passed, and Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, signed, a religious exceptions law that many believed would allow business owners to refuse service to gay couples on religious grounds. The law, officially called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was viewed by critics as a license to discriminate. But it set off a furious backlash not only from the gay community but also from corporate interests that pressured lawmakers to clarify that the measure could not be used to justify discrimination.

For many of the gay and lesbian Indiana residents gathered here for pride week, the rapid revising of the law marked a turning point, suggesting perhaps a budding tolerance for their community — as well as their growing political clout in this politically conservative state.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 15, 2015 09:10 AM
Posted to Indiana Government