LGBT rights

Lafayette Mayor's Office

Earlier this week, the Lafayette City Council passed a controversial ordinance amendment offering additional protections to transgender residents.

But should the discussion have been allowed to go as far as it did?

Lafayette, Tippecanoe County Leaders Move To Enact Transgender Protections

Sep 7, 2016
Sarah Fentem / WBAA News

Both the Tippecanoe County Commissioners and the Lafayette City Council voted Tuesday to add protections for the transgender community to existing human rights ordinances.

The commissioners must still vote once more this month to make their move final, but the Lafayette vote was the last in what's been a charged debate.

After a lengthy and spirited public debate, the Lafayette City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve an amendment adding gender identity protections to the city’s human relations ordinance.


Central Indiana Glass & Glazing

Lafayette, one of the first cities in Indiana to write protections for sexual orientation into its human relations ordinance, is one vote away from adding gender identity to the law, which protects residents from discrimination in employment, business and housing situations.

The vote during Monday evening's city council meeting was unanimously in favor of expanding the ordinance, even though public commenters at City Hall, who numbered more than a dozen, were far less unified in their opinions.

Valentina Powers /

A federal judge Thursday ordered the state to include the names of both mothers on the birth certificate of a child born to a lesbian couple.

Indiana birth certificates list only the mother and the father.

Eight lesbian couples sued, seeking the right to include both mothers: the birth mother and her partner.

They argue the state’s current system sometimes denies them the right to give the child both last names and denies parents – and the children – certain rights and access to benefits.

Alan Cleaver /

Indiana came closer than it’s ever come during the last session to joining the ranks of states with bias crime, or hate crime laws. 

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith frames the debate over the legislation, including the difficult road it faces going forward.

Indiana came closer than it’s ever come during the 2016 legislative session to joining the ranks of states with bias crime, or hate crime, laws. 

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith frames the debate on the legislation, including the difficult road it faces going forward.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA


Hundreds of people descended on Lafayette's courthouse square Monday night to remember the 49 victims killed in the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub last weekend. 

By dusk, Monday's sweltering heat had largely subsided, and as hundreds of people gathered behind Congress Street United Methodist Church, the mood was relaxed, even jovial--but that changed when pastor Clarinda Crawford took the microphone and read the names of the Orlando shooting victims aloud. 

Quinn Dombrowski /

A day after tens of thousands of people visited downtown Indianapolis for the annual Cadillac Barbie IN Pride Parade to celebrate the city’s LGBTQ community --- organizers Indy Pride held an interfaith vigil Sunday evening for victims of the Orlando mass shooting at a gay nightclub.

Hundreds attended the somber service, including Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Eric Weddle who brought back these sounds.

NYC Department of Education /

A new directive to schools from the Obama Administration to accommodate transgender students isn't actually all that new.

Indiana School Boards Association attorney Lisa Tanselle says the government told schools two years ago to honor the bathroom and locker room preferences of transgender students.

She says Friday's letter to schools advises them to edit student records to reflect gender identity, and adds guidance for accommodations on overnight trips, but otherwise essentially reaffirms the stance that transgender students are covered by sex discrimination laws.

City of Frankfort

The Clinton County Surveyor’s office is about to start using a drone for its work. It’s a 21st Century solution to the old problem of trying to map out-of-the-way places.

On today’s Ask The Mayor, we see if Frankfort’s Chris McBarnes has any similar plans to use new tech to keep a watchful eye on his city’s needs and trouble spots.

Also on this week’s show, spring signals rebirth – which is exactly what Frankfort’s money-losing city golf course needs. We ask if a lackluster spring means more of the same red ink on the city’s bottom line that it’s seen in the past.

Urban Sea Star /

Indiana groups pushing for LGBT rights say the path forward to securing those rights next year is educating lawmakers.  LGBT rights advocates discussed Tuesday what they have in store after LGBT rights legislation died before getting a vote on either chamber floor this session.

Despite failure at the General Assembly, local communities, including, most recently, Evansville and Kokomo, continue to enact their own anti-discrimination ordinances.