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House Speaker Urges Civility During Upcoming LGBT Debate

House Speaker Brian Bosma is calling for people to be respectful and also remain positive about the state’s image.

gay flag

Photo: Jamison Wieser (Flickr)

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has prompted lawmakers to consider whether it should be illegal to discriminate against LGBT people.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis says he will do everything in his power to ensure the legislature’s upcoming debate over LGBT civil rights is a respectful one.

Bosma says when the General Assembly was in the midst of the religious freedom controversy last session, Indiana was portrayed as an unwelcoming and discriminatory place. The Speaker says that isn’t true and urges people on both sides of the debate not to continue saying so, arguing it damages the state’s reputation.

“We need to remove, I think, that rhetoric, have the public policy discussion about whether it’s appropriate to join the minority of states in the union that have added the LGBT community in their civil rights statute and let that public policy stand on its own,” says Bosma.

Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, says he agrees that the people of Indiana are welcoming and accepting but says average Hoosiers aren’t the problem.

“The issue is whether the state as an institution is welcoming, whether it supports that attitude or not,” says Delaney. “And it seems that some members of the majority are hesitant to endorse the public’s acceptance of people.”

The General Assembly convenes its 2016 session on January 5th.

  • andrea

    Well, I will be blunt then.
    Civility is what we are asking for. Decency. Common courtesy. To be treated as citizens.
    Ergo, there is no “debate” over our rights. It’s simple. We are people, treat us as such.
    Now, if he’s concerned that people will be uncivil, well, I will be as demanding and loud-mouthed as I am capable of, in the service of keeping my dignity and my rights as a citizen of the republic and of the state of IN. If he finds that “uncivil,” too bad. I am not the one attacking someone’s right to exist here. And I find there to be ZERO RIGHT to be rude, uncivil, or cruel to people like me. That’s not even a discussion.

  • Bob Eckert

    Full and equal civil rights and then, and only then will we LGBT folks be civil!! People who are against full and equal civil rights for law abiding citizens are fascists and evil.

  • lastcamp2

    You know, we all have full and equal civil rights. The Constitution says, in part “all persons.” The issue is whether we are able to exercise them, and be free from discrimination. The real issue is whether there is an effective enforcement mechanism for those rights, as rights are not self-enforcing. It was a hundred years or so after rights were granted that the Civil Rights act gave meaning to the rights of certain minorities.

    So what is being asked for is that kind of means of enforcement, so that having rights doesn’t continue to be an empty promise.

  • Bob Eckert

    Good point, but people ACT as if LGBTQ people don’t even have any rights to begin with.

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