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Friday, October 16, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Can the state follow Carmel on LGBT rights?"

Updating this ILB post from Oct. 6, quoting an IndyStar story on Carmel's passage of LGBT protections, here is a long Indianapolis Star story this week, reported by Chris Sikich and Stephanie Wang, that begins:

Carmel's recent vote, adopting anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, showed just how difficult it may be to fashion similar legislation statewide.

Passage of the Carmel ordinance on Monday took strong leadership, and considerable political muscle, combined with an ability to create coalitions across ideological lines, political observers say. And those qualities have been in short supply at the state level.

The city's two most powerful elected leaders set aside their ideological differences and pushed heavily for Carmel's law. But even then, after weeks of intense lobbying, political hand-wringing and contentious debate, they struggled to carry the close 4-3 vote to approve the measure.

Lobbyists and the public turned out in droves to make impassioned speeches. And what started as an economic argument boiled down to a matter of morals.

The mayor went into the discussion thinking he had the potential for 6-1 support, but it quickly slipped away, with one of the mayor's traditional supporters going against the measure, and some of his opponents voting with him.

As advocates prepare to push similar lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender protections into state law, the obstacles loom larger. It's a volatile and strident issue that experts say demands bipartisanship. The state's already muddied reputation could be at stake.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 16, 2015 02:38 PM
Posted to Indiana Government