Indianapolis News and Headlines


Senator proposes change to civil rights bill

Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 19:20:21-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Senate could vote in the next few days to update the proposal to include the rights of transgender individuals. 

A key Republican lawmaker says the full Senate will likely advance a proposal that includes civil rights protections based on gender identity, but for housing and employment only. 

Senator Ron Alting, a Republican from Lafayette, is proposing the change. He says full civil rights protections for transgender individuals, including in education and public accommodations, is "too bold." 

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But, he says this is a start and keeps the bill moving forward. The proposed change defines gender identity as: 

"A person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not it is different from their assigned sex at birth. It would have to be shown by providing medical history, a consistent assertion in the last twelve months, or thorough evidence the identity is "sincerely held," part of a person's core identity, and not assert for an "improper purpose."

The bill as written already provides civil rights protections for gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual Hoosiers. It provides exemptions for religious organizations and business owners, in hiring and providing services based on their beliefs. 

"Those that believe transgender should be in the bill, this is kind of putting your toe in the water. It's not the whole nine yards, which we're going to have to get support of the LGBT community on that. But it's a beginning. It keeps the bill alive, it keeps the bill going," Sen. Ron Alting said. 

The full Senate is planning to discuss the bill Tuesday and will likely vote on it on Wednesday. 

Even if members of that chamber approve it, the bill is still likely to face a rough road ahead. 


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