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LGBT Employment Protections Amendment Stricken From Bill

Gretchen Frazee
Indiana Public Broadcasting

The vast majority of House Republicans dismissed a Democratic amendment Thursday that would’ve barred employment discrimination against the LGBT community. 

The Democrats’ efforts to keep the LGBT debate alive took the form of an amendment on the House floor to a bill on workforce policies.  The proposed provision would have barred LGBT discrimination in the workplace via hiring, benefits, scheduling and working conditions. 

Democrats and seven Republicans accounted for the amendment’s affirmative votes, while 59 GOP members voted ‘no.’  Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says that vote isn’t necessarily a reflection of support in his caucus for LGBT rights.

“I think a lot of folks even that might support the protected class status didn’t think it’s appropriate to put it on a bill on second reading without public testimony,” Bosma says.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) calls the Speaker’s stated need for public testimony “ridiculous.”

“This is one of the most widely debated issues in the state of Indiana,” Pelath says. “If you don’t have clear views on it now, I don’t know what you’re working on.”

Pelath says Democrats will continue working on the issue, which could include more amendments on the House floor.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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